Kevin Durant has connections to Bulls, but not the kind to tweet about
The Bulls made early calls on Durant after he demanded a trade from the Nets, but the likelihood of KD putting on a Bulls jersey anytime soon remains more fairy tale than reality. The Bulls don’t fit the trade profile for Durant, and there’s some history with Billy Donovan that doesn’t help.
It has been a few years, but the @ColeCashwell “interview” remains somewhat relevant.
One bored Kevin Durant fan sent a tweet to the NBA star in 2017 just to see if Durant would bite.
@ColeCashwell got his wish — and then some.
“@KDTrey5 Man, I respect the hell outta you, but give me one legitimate reason for leaving OKC other than getting a championship,’’ @ColeCashwell sent out.
Not only did Durant respond, but he also showed a part of his character.
Thinking he was on a burner account that he used to fire at critics, Durant accidentally responded on his own account of @KDTrey5 sounding like an outside party:
“He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn’t that good; it was just him and Russ.’’
Durant eventually admitted that he had a burner account — and recently confessed that he still has burner accounts — but no longer hides behind them when firing back on tough topics. He has become empowered that way.
As for his feelings for Donovan — who’s coaching the Bulls after leaving Oklahoma City — Durant eventually apologized.
During a tech event in San Francisco after the burner account was discovered, Durant said, “I don’t regret clapping back at anybody or talking to my fans on Twitter. I do regret using my former coach’s name and former organization that I played for. That was childish. That was idiotic, all those type of words. I regret doing that, and I apologize for doing that.’’
As for Donovan’s side of the story, it was never really an issue. Publicly and privately, he only has positive things to say about Durant as a player and a man. The two have spoken many times since and seemingly have put the matter behind them.
While playing alongside Zach LaVine with Team USA last summer, Durant even sent a video out on his social-media accounts promising Donovan that LaVine “will finally play some defense.’’
So with Durant’s new line in the sand being etched this week in yet another trade demand from the Nets, where exactly does that leave the Bulls?
Unfortunately, still on the outside looking in.
First of all, Durant and Donovan have said all the right things, but Durant has shown throughout his career — even as he matures in his manner of dealing with criticism — that he also holds grudges. If he didn’t like playing for Donovan in the low-pressure environment of Oklahoma City, why would he like playing for him in the shadows of the Michael Jordan statue after all but holding the Nets hostage for a trade?
But the bigger obstacle remains the Bulls actually having the right compensation to land Durant.
The Bulls did their due diligence last month and at least made a phone call to Brooklyn, but they were told they didn’t fit the profile of what the Nets wanted back, i.e., draft picks.
The Bulls owe their 2023 and 2025 first-round picks to the Magic and Spurs, respectively, as part of the Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan deals.
Brooklyn reportedly is looking for All-Star-caliber players and a boatload of draft picks.
If the Jazz received five future draft picks from the Timberwolves in the Rudy Gobert trade, imagine what Durant is worth.
So while DeRozan, Vucevic, Patrick Williams and three draft picks for Durant and Seth Curry might flash green on ESPN’s trade machine, it’s a fairy tale in the real world.
No burner account is needed to know that.