1. They can make an attractive package without him
Everyone in the larger basketball media landscape seems to be suggesting that the Raptors can’t get a deal done without including Barnes. The opposite is true. The Raptors have the luxury of being able to keep most of their core intact if they trade for Durant.
Trent and Anunoby would likely be goners in a Durant deal. While the likes of VanVleet and Siakam can’t consider themselves to be 100% safe just yet, Toronto can still build a package that Brooklyn would be willing to accept without giving up one of the most valuable assets in basketball.
The Toronto Raptors have the assets to get Kevin Durant.
With the Deandre Ayton situation making it challenging for Phoenix, reportedly Durant’s favorite destination, to pull off a trade, it’s getting difficult for other teams to compete with the collection of picks and players that the Raptors can lay at Brooklyn’s feet.
The Raptors will have a very tough time parting ways with those types of players to get Durant, but they might have an easier time doing so if they know that their competition for KD is fading and those stars will be enough to secure a deal. Scottie, KD, Precious, Fred, and Pascal together is one heck of a lineup.