The Brooklyn Nets may have been able to meet and get Kevin Durant to rescind his trade request this season. The superstar has supposedly committed to be back in Brooklyn long-term, hopefully for the end of the remaining four years on his contract. However, despite the news that he will return to Brooklyn, NBA insider Ric Bucher shared a quote from one NBA executive that believes Durant will be dealt at the February trade deadline.
“I think the Nets simply told him, ‘There’s not a deal we’re happy with, and we’re not just going to give you away,'” an Eastern Conference GM told FOX Sports. “I think he’ll still get moved by the trade deadline if it doesn’t go well. That may have even been part of the deal, a soft agreement that they’ll move him if it’s not working.”
Kevin Durant isn’t the only star player that some around the NBA expect may be available at the trade deadline. DeMar DeRozan from the Chicago Bulls is also rumored to potentially be traded midseason if the Bulls have a slow start to the season.
DeMar DeRozan Possible Trade Deadline Target
In a recent article for True Hoop, David Thorpe speculated that if the Bulls don’t get a good start in the upcoming season that they could look to trade one of their star players in DeMar DeRozan at the deadline.
Bleacher Report furthered the rumors of DeRozan potentially being dealt at the trade deadline in its September 20 article, which linked the All-Star to the Nets. In the deal there was a total of five players swapped, and three first round draft picks.
Chicago Bulls Receive: F Kevin Durant, F Kessler Edwards
Brooklyn Nets Receive: F DeMar DeRozan, F Patrick Williams, G Coby White, 2023 first-round pick (lottery-protected, via Portland Trail Blazers*), 2027 and 2029 unprotected first-round picks
Bleacher Report noted that if Durant again decides he wants out of Brooklyn and he can’t get trust back in its front office, perhaps it could create a scenario for a trade. The proposed deal would help the Nets avoid a rebuild with the addition of DeRozan, who was an MVP candidate for most of last season, where he averaged 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game, 50.4 percent shooting overall.
It would also give them two young players with a lot of upside. Williams has the potential to be elite defensively and White would allow them to have another point guard if things again get messy with Kyrie Irving. The Nets would still have Ben Simmons and a pretty solid team and could still compete in the east.
How DeRozan First Got Mentioned in Trade Rumors
David Thorpe’s aforementioned article was the first to toss the idea of a midseason trade featuring DeRozan for the Bulls. In it he put a heavy asterisk that it would depend on how the Bulls started their season while also linking the Heat as the team, but the Nets could have more potential firepower if Durant is wanting out.
“If the Bulls struggle out of the gate the way they limped home last season, DeRozan could return some real mid- and long-term value to a Bulls team featuring Zach LaVine, Pat Williams, and a troupe of young guards. Coming off a monster season, DeRozan’s stock will never be higher.
The Heat—with Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Nikola Jović—have the pieces to bring DeRozan to South Beach. A DeRozan-Jimmy Butler wing pairing would give Miami a better offensive edge (especially if Butler doubles the number of 3s he took in the regular season, as he did in the playoffs) to overcome the Bucks and the Celtics without sacrificing overall defense. In return, the Bulls get a manageable contract in Robinson’s, a great prospect in Jović, and a budding star in Herro, who they would likely want the Heat to sign and extend as part of any deal,” Thorpe wrote.