Why Bulls fans should be rooting against potential Celtics trade for Durant

Kevin Durant, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

In an offseason where seemingly every other Eastern Conference contender improved while the Chicago Bulls remained stagnant, things just seem like they can’t get any worse. Sure enough, the Bulls received yet another reality check this morning when reports surrounding the future of superstar Kevin Durant proved that things can in fact get much worse indeed.

While the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, and Toronto Raptors have been the primary teams associated as potential landing spots for Durant over the last few weeks, the Boston Celtics have emerged out of the blue as perhaps the team most likely to swing a blockbuster trade for KD.

The thought of the 2022 Eastern Conference Champion Celtics returning better than ever next season has obviously captured the attention of NBA fans everywhere. It almost feels like deja vu, as we know all too well that this wouldn’t be the first time Durant helped a proven team bounce back from a loss in the NBA Finals to go on and eventually win multiple championships.

Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to break the news of Boston looking to enter the KD sweepstakes.

As the Boston Celtics emerge as a dark horse candidate to land Kevin Durant, this is quickly becoming a nightmare scenario for the Chicago Bulls.

Here’s a look at Charania’s full quote from his article discussing the blueprint of any potential Celtics trade for Durant:

"“The Celtics offered Brown, guard Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets for Durant, sources said. The proposal was rejected, and Brooklyn has asked Boston — in any proposal — to include Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially one more rotation player, those sources added. Currently, the Celtics are less inclined to include Smart along with multiple other player or pick assets, but the franchise is mulling over next steps on how to approach discussions.”"

The Celtics understandably feel apprehensive about giving up a haul for a player with as flaky a past as Durant, but it seems almost too good of an opportunity to pass up here. Durant is an immediate enormous upgrade over Brown, and the fact that Boston brought in both Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White via trade over the last year means Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart is actually an expendable asset here.

With Durant and Jayson Tatum, Boston would have two true top 10 superstars and a whole host of great rotation players to back them up. If this deal goes through, the Celtics are unequivocally the favorites to win it all in 2023. And it’s for this reason, that this trade poses a worst-case scenario for the Chicago Bulls.

Should the Celtics land KD, the Bulls can throw out any notion of having even an outside shot to win it all. It still remains unclear if Chicago could even stack up to Boston, Milwaukee, Miami, and Philadelphia even if this trade doesn’t happen.

With Nikola Vucevic’s contract set to expire at the end of the season and DeMar DeRozan soon following next summer, this effectively closes this chapter of Bulls basketball before it ever even hit its full stride. I’d expect the front office to retool and trade away both DeRozan and Vucevic in this scenario, in an effort to build around the young core and compete when the current top dogs in the East age out of contention.

If you’re anything like me, I highly doubt you’re interested in watching another era focused on rebuilding this team instead of competing to win games. I doubt franchise cornerstone Zach LaVine would be interested in that either, after just making the playoffs for the first time in his career and inking a massive five-year extension with Chicago.

These trade rumors pose all sorts of short-term and long-term problems for Chicago, which is why Bulls fans should be firmly anchored in hoping that Durant goes anywhere other than Boston.

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