So, are the big names that remain in the commercial market going to be dealt with soon or what?

It’s your 8th birthday. You throw on your Chicago Bulls quilt, put on your Spongebob slippers, and pause to get off. You slide down the ramp and descend like a professional gymnast.

Ready to welcome you to the living room, adoring parents are giving you the gift you’ve always wanted. How could it not be the new bike? The outline of the packaging is clear as day: two wheels, a seat, pedals. This summer is about to be illuminated!

You begin to tear the wrapping paper. All you can think of is the fun chaos that’s about to take over. Walks in the park. Walks to Seven Eleven for slushies. Walks… back to the park. Before you know it, all the paper is on the floor and you’re stepping back to bask in birthday glory.

Where the best bike in the world should be is a bunch of vegetables. Broccoli, carrots, squash, radish. The opposite of pleasure. WHAT THE F***!?

That’s my long metaphor for the commercial market this offseason. Despite two of the biggest names in the game sitting on the trading block – Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell – reports of either have been rare. News on guys like Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Myles Turner has also slowed. What seemed like one of the craziest summers in quite some time has turned into a snoozefest, and it doesn’t look like things will change any time soon.

The last we heard about Durant’s situation revolved around a possible deal with the Boston Celtics centered on Jaylen Brown. However, this failed to gain traction after the initial report was published. As for Mitchell, the Knicks have emerged as the likely landing spot, but the conversations have yet to pick up steam.

Indeed, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype didn’t inspire much confidence that a deal with Mitchell was on the horizon:

The New York Knicks have the draft pick compensation necessary to acquire Mitchell, including a maximum of eight first-round picks over the next seven years that they can include. However, New York has been reluctant to give up a treasure chest of draft picks so far as trade talks have stalled for the past few weeks.

Scotto also commented on Westbrook’s potential move. He reported that a potential three-team deal between the Knicks, Jazz and Lakers had been discussed in the past. The deal would have offered the Lakers some needed players while sending Westbrook to the rebuilding Jazz (who would have bought him out). Mitchell, duh, would have ended up in New York.

As crazy as it sounds, Scotto also didn’t seem to suggest it was an active discussion. The Lakers have long been reluctant to part ways with their two remaining first-round picks (2027, 2029), which I have to imagine is part of the reason this deal failed to get off the ground. Either way, be sure to read Scotto’s comments on these players – as well as other veterans who have been trade rumored – here.

Certainly, whether it’s Durant, Mitchell or Westbrook, a deal can still materialize. As training camp draws closer, the reality of the teams’ situation will begin to set in. We could see the sense of urgency for those looking to trade players, as well as those looking to acquire players, increase significantly as they hope to enter a new season with a clear game plan.

That said, it looks like the possibility of a successful trade could diminish significantly by the time the ball is tipped in October. Adding a player like Mitchell or Durant mid-season would be a pretty complicated adjustment, especially considering the amount of assets teams are looking for in exchange for the services of either. So while some teams might decide to take the big step after seeing their product on the field in the coming months, is it possible that these moves will be seen as too big?

If teams choose to wait until the next offseason to revisit some conversations, the entire commercial market could continue to be stuck in the mud. Even smaller scale trades could be difficult for teams like the Chicago Bulls to complete mid-season as prices remain inflated and some teams are reluctant to move tradable assets.

Conversely, if these superstar players were moved mid-season, teams like the Bulls could find themselves with several intriguing options. Maybe the Jazz or the Nets go into full sell mode and it becomes that much easier to land impact veterans. But, again, that seems like the least likely outcome right now… what kind of a stink.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that I can’t remember the last time we entered a regular season with the future of so many big names in question. And I wonder what kind of impact that will have on how the front offices approach the season as a whole. I guess all we can do is wait and see.

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