Kevin Durant loves Tom Thibodeau, Derrick Rose

CSN talked to Kevin Durant about his off-season workouts with Derrick Rose and Durant noted he felt Derrick made the right decision in sitting out. However, for Bulls fans already looking ahead to 2016, Durant also gave a ringing endorsement to Tom Thibodeau as well.

From the CSN interview:

“He’s been looking great. It was really good for him to take the whole year off," Durant said. "A lot of people criticized him for it and were really upset about him not playing, but it was the best thing for him. I can tell, because he looks better.

Obviously, always good news to hear one of the elite players of the NBA say Derrick looks good.

Of course, Durant would never say the reverse but he didn't need to come out and say something so positive either. It's probably meaningless fluff, especially coming from one of the league's super nice guys, but I'll take it over no direct comments or nothing at all.

“Well he’s an MVP," Durant said. "He’s a high-level player. If you lose that, of course you’re not going to be as good as you were before. But I love Coach Thibs and I love what he brings to the table. Their defense is one of the best I’ve ever seen. So that gets them by, but I think they need an extra push from the offense and that’s what D-Rose brings to the table. So explosive, so great, just a great person all around. I really enjoy watching him play. He is one of the few players I would go pay to see play. He is going to make them even better this year.”

You're god damn right it is Kevin, wouldn't you love to come play with that defense behind you against the Miami Heat?

Obviously Rose will ad a lot to the team, you don't lose a guy like Rose without taking a significant step backwards, I think most Bulls fans were very pleased with what the team accomplished last season without Derrick relative to how bad it could have been.

“I had the chance to talk to coach Thibs a little bit. I was working out with D-Rose this summer a couple of times, and he stopped by one time," Durant said. "I had the opportunity to talk to him, just to pick his brain. With him being a new head coach, he’s been around the game for a long time, around so many great minds. He just told me how he approached every single day with his team, and managing egos, managing different feelings and emotions from different players and how he brings it together.

"He doesn’t worry about anything but the game of basketball. He doesn’t worry about contracts, issues, none of that. He just worries about the game of basketball, and I really respect that. I really enjoyed my time talking with him, and he opened my eyes to a lot of different things. I can see why the Chicago Bulls are so successful.

Now saying some nice things about your workout partner is one thing and showing respect for another head coach and organization isn't all that rare either [though typically happens in playoff interviews where guys aren't trying to give blackboard material to the other team], in fact, this type of feel good behavior is probably part of Kevin Durant's personality.

That said, it's still a stark contract from Dwight Howard who consistently voiced a desire to not play in Chicago. You have to think if Durant makes it to free agency that he gives the Bulls a serious look if they have cap room.

There are also cracks in his relationship with the Thunder.

It certainly left you wondering when the 24-year-old, when asked to assess his team's business to date in July, offered nothing more than "I love it" before walking away from the assembled press pack to bring the interview to a halt.

Which is certainly not the norm with one of the foremost gentlemen in the modern game.

And of course, we have the infamous Durant Bulls photo to fall back on:

Durant wearing a Bulls hat

I'm not saying it's all lined up for 2016, let's sit around and do noting until then. The Bulls have three years with an excellent chance to win a championship between now and that off-season, and what better way to recruit Durant than to have won a ring already?

However, if I'm the Chicago Bulls, and I can find any way possible to do it, I'm keeping a max contract slot open that can fit Durant's salary in it. There's no better player in the league to pair Rose with and while the odds of it working out are fairly slim, you have to take your shots at building a dynasty when you can because they don't come around that often.

Comments

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  • So you're sayin' there's a chance....

    Doug,

    With all due respect, this seems like a bit of a reach. He already has Westbrook and Ibaka is a nice young #3. Would you have Rose/Noah or Westrbrook/Noah? You are splitting hairs with those two guys against one another. If anything, Ibaka is younger than Noah.

    I think the only reason he would leave is because:
    1. Thibs is that much better than brooks (probably true)

    2. Living is OKC is boring (judgement call here, but may be true)

    3. He does not get along with Westbrook and/or thinks Rose is better. (nothing to substantiate that they don't get along... and we'll see how Rose and Westbrook come back from injury.)

    4. Aside from Rose, the Bulls supporting cast is that much better. (If guys like Butler, Teague and Snell develop and Mirotic is legit and Noah and Gibson age well... that's a talented roster if you can keep them all. And, continue to draft well.)

  • In reply to Granby:

    Objectively, I think Durant's chances of winning a championship go way up if he were to join the Bulls. He'd also have a much larger profile playing in Chicago.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Correct on both counts, Roman.

    Keep drafting well and developing the youths, Chicago!

    Plus no crummy extensions and no poor FA signings.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I wouldn't be surprised if Durant is getting tired of Westbrook.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Rose and Durant seem to be more similar personality wise than do Durant and Westbrook. I could see Durant tiring of playing with Westbrook. How could anyone not chose Chicago ove OKC, it's not like your really getting better weather.

    I certainly agree with Doug's idea of structuring our future payroll to keep a max salary slot open for that summer. But my sense is that in order for us to do that we really can't make any major moves over the next 2 years to vault us into championship contender status, i.e. no Love or to a lesser extent Aldridge type deals. Will Bulls fans be satisfied to wait around for another 3 years without a blockbuster type move.

    I'm not going to hold my breath on this one, andt I have never been a fan, but as Chicago's very own(no not WGN) Jessie Jackson used to say "Keep Hope Alive"

  • Nice endorsement for Rose and Thibs system from Durant. If the Bulls FO can be smart enough to have cap space available for Durant come 2016 than by all means go all in for him. And I'm sure Durant being a loyal guy to OKC and it's franchise probably wouldn't want to leave them highand dry so the Bulls better have assets aavailable "IF"... Durant wants to come to the Bulls once his contract with OKC comes to an end. The 2016 pick, Mirotic, and whatever else that needs to be thrown in the deal fir Durant is absolutely a no brained. It's wishful thinking and still quite a ways away but the Bulls FO should start preparing for this situation now if they plan on keeping Thibs and Rose together and with the Bulls.

  • Durant has a nice supporting cast. He was a bit pissed that the bench is weakening and wanted belinelli so there is some "tension" with the front office. If the Heat keep rolling into championships and Dwight Howard and the Rockets get going, Durant will have to rethink his strategy of loyalty and start thinking of joining up with another top 5 player. He's also good friends with Kevin Love who has been linked to the Lakers and the NY billionaires are desperate so its not a given he would come to Chicago first.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Agreed "but", the Lakers are sinking fast even tho they are always willing to pay top dollar for players like Durant and the Knicks would have to ship out every other good player other than Melo to bring in Durant. Personally I don't think he would go to either of those teams but would come to Chicago because of Rose and Thibs and the defensive system that Thibs implements. The Bulls just need to position themselves just in case such an scenario presents itself that Durant actually does want to leave OKC because I'm sure teams would be willing to do almost anything to get his services.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You wrote, "The Bulls just need to position themselves just in case." I agree, and that need not eliminate them from contending in the meantime.

    For example, if Rose is as strong as Durant claims, and if Deng is healed, and if Butler takes another jump up in his skills, the Bulls are a contender this season. And those three all appear reasonable.

    Now, if Teague, Snell, and Murphy all develop and contribute -- and we see rookies contributing all the time -- then the Bulls have a base for continuing to contend, but these kids have to be coached up into NBA decent players. That does not happen riding the bench.

    Especially with Mirotic and the Charlotte pick on the horizon, the Bulls can stay near the top even if they lose Deng next summer and Boozer the following year. Durant will want the rings. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh all took less to get the rings. Others will do the same.

  • Have you guys read this about Mirotic? Don Ellis picked it up and had it on his blog.

    http://basketball.realgm.com/blog/228966/The-Euroleague-Elite-50-40-90-Club

    Of course, the stat means more in the NBA, or so I would assume, because the defenders tend to be superior in the NBA. Still, it shows that Mirotic is a very skilled shooter. The staff of the Bulls got a steal in him. Which may be another reason for Durant to love Chicago in a few years!

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