Bulls’ Odds of Landing 12-Time All-Star Get Intriguing Update

Chicago Bulls

Getty Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets playfully argues with a fan

Last we heard, the Chicago Bulls did their due diligence and checked in on disgruntled Brooklyn Nets forward, Kevin Durant. Ultimately, the Bulls’ best possible offer was thought to be well short of what the Nets were asking.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Nets want “a lot”.

“They don’t just want a star young player. They want all of your picks…They want a trade package that would be up there with the very deepest in terms of assets that we have seen in this modern era.”

Two parts of that statement would seem to eliminate the Bulls from contention. But new betting odds reveal their chances are still better than most amid a renewed request from Durant.


Odd Man Out

Durant had a meeting with Nets governor Joe Tsai in London this past weekend according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Many believed the two sides were at a stalemate with the superstar’s previous trade request when this new update dropped rather unexpectedly.

Then, Tsai compounded the issue by taking to Twitter and seemingly drawing his line in the sand, choosing general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash over Durant.

That puts the Nets in a precarious situation, writes Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation.

“Joe Tsai broke the golden rule: never tweet. In doing so, he may have just lost leverage for the Nets in trade talks and made life a lot harder for the people he was trying to back.”

Could this new expanse in the rift work out in the Bulls’ favor?

Well, Oddshark shared an updated glimpse at the odds-on favorites to land the 12-time All-Star and there is some intrigue in where the Bulls rank.

This is obviously worse than their ranking as of July 30, when they were among the top possibilities sitting at fourth, per PointsBet.

On July 6, they had the 10th-best odds, per Bovada Sportsbook.

Their slide might seem all bad. But, in the proper context, it’s possible that they could also benefit from the new order.


Evidence of Absence

Durant had previously listed the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat as his preferred destinations, presumably in that order. But those earlier odds had both teams at or near the top of the list. This new set still has Phoenix sitting pretty.

But Miami has been taken completely off as have the Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and New Orleans Pelicans; all among the top seven initially.

The Nets are also back off of Odds Shark’s odds like they were for PointsBet.

Now, different sites often have differing odds. So perhaps some omissions or additions are purely circumstantial.

Still, some teams listed ahead of the Bulls by Odds Shark have either drawn their line on how far they are willing to go, if at all, to land Durant.

That includes one of his old teams, the Golden State Warriors.

The Miami Heat have turned their attention to wings, per Heavy’s Sean Deveney while Toronto has been reluctant to include talented young forward Scottie Barnes.

They would have a tough time matching salary as ESPN’s Zach Lowe says that the Nets don’t view Andrew Wiggins as a centerpiece in a deal for the two-time champion and a massive tax bill otherwise.


The Usual Suspects

There has also been little to no connection to Durant — who will turn 34 years old in September and is still owed $194 million over the next for years — in rumors for the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks.

The Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Toronto Raptors are all appropriately far more likely destinations than the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers. There has been the most smoke surrounding this group.

Durant doesn’t fit the Oklahoma City Thunder’s timeline which they are committed to.

He would be joining his fourth team in the last eight seasons if he is traded.

Does the fact that the Bulls share the same odds as OKC mean that they too are a longshot? In short, yes.

But they also have better odds than most of the teams around the league and even some prior favorites. An optimist could also convince themselves that they are in better standing than the list shows under proper context.

The realist will look at the Bulls roster knowing that is what they will likely roll out when the season begins.

That does not mean it’s impossible.

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