The Toronto Raptors are rarely considered to be major players in the NBA’s annual trade sweepstakes, but they managed to make their presence firmly felt in the Kevin Durant chase. Toronto remains very active in its attempt to secure KD’s services.
Masai Ujiri has preached patience in building this roster, but their surprise leap to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference may have opened their contending window earlier than expected. Ujiri is always willing to swing a trade if the player in question fits in with his timeline.
With a player of Durant’s caliber, every team that has the assets needed to entice the Brooklyn Nets is on the phone trying to hammer a deal out. Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Raptors are one of a handful of teams trying to pry KD away from Sean Marks.
Charania reported that the Raptors, Heat, Suns, and Warriors are the four teams trying to make a move and acquire Durant. Finally sealing the deal will take some time and oodles of risk to pull off for Ujiri and Toronto, but it’s worth it for a player of KD’s caliber.
The Toronto Raptors are one of 4 teams after Kevin Durant.
Golden State would make sense from a basketball point of view, but Durant likely won’t have any interest after the messy way in which he left the team. Miami is unable to trade Bam Adebayo to Brooklyn, so their return package would be comparatively paltry.
Phoenix might be the most worthy competitor. Not only could they potentially send assets like Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges to Brooklyn, but they are a ready-made contender who was at the top of Durant’s wish list. It will be tough for Toronto to compete with them.
The one thing Toronto has going in their favor in that regard is the fact their deal will be less complicated. Rather than getting a third team involved or doing some sign-and-trade shenanigans, the Raptors can send a collection of players like OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. to Brooklyn alongside a host of draft picks.
The Raptors are not going to mortgage their entire future to add Durant, so this could complicate trade talks. Unfortunately, Toronto runs the risk of losing Durant to a competitor in the East if they are not aggressive enough. They can’t leave the Durant chase too early.