Latest Kevin Durant trade report proves Bulls on outside looking in

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Latest Durant report proves Bulls on outside looking in originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bulls were always an extreme longshot to land Kevin Durant, who requested a trade from the Nets on June 30.

On the surface, the Bulls' lack of young, tradable, All-Star caliber talent and limitations on dealing future draft capital made them an unlikely suitor. Brooklyn's asking price will — understandably — be astronomical, as Durant is still at the peak of his generational powers and is under contract for four more seasons.

That was confirmed in a slew of recent reports early Monday morning.

First, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Nets and Boston Celtics have engaged in discussions about Durant. Hours later, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a pick to the Nets in exchange for Durant — and were rebuffed, then countered, with an offer for Brown, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and picks.

So, what was the Bulls' best potential package again?

Some combination of DeMar DeRozan, who is coming off an All-NBA season but approaching the tail end of his prime, Nikola Vučević, who is also on the wrong side of 30 and playing on an expiring contract this season, Patrick Williams, an intriguing but unproven prospect, and the team's smorgasbord of young guards — from Ayo Dosunmu to Coby White? (Zach LaVine can't be traded until Dec. 15 after signing a max contract this offseason.)

That doesn't quite match even an offer built around Brown, who is 25, was an All-Star in 2021, and is coming off a stellar season in which he helped lead Boston to within two wins of a title — not to mention if Smart and additional role players or picks come into play.

Then factor in that the Bulls cannot trade their own first-round picks from 2023 through at least 2026 because of the trades for Vučević and DeRozan, and it's clear the pieces don't add up.

That reality has been clear since word of Durant's trade request first broke. But seeing the Nets' desire for a young All-Star, solid complementary pieces, and draft capital begin to come to fruition is a sobering reminder.

RELATED: 3 worst Kevin Durant trade destinations for Bulls

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