The Toronto Raptors are keeping themselves implanted in the Kevin Durant trade race, as they are always willing to bring on one of the most individually talented players the game has to offer. However, Brooklyn may have their eyes set on Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in a return package.
With Barnes fresh off an impressive rookie season and posied for an even greater ascension, Toronto will likely try everything in their power to keep him in Canada and watch his upward ascension. Alongside a star like Pascal Siakam, he and Durant would make an impressive star trio.
Naturally, Brooklyn is going to what a borderline unprecedented haul for a player of Durant’s caliber, even if it means making the trade proceedings drag in throughout the summer months. If the goal is to convince Toronto to part with Barnes eventually, that is likely not going to happen.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that traction between Brooklyn and Toronto is starting to slow down with Barnes being a “non-starter” for the Raptors in trade talks. Masai Ujiri is fully aware of his potential, and he’s not going to let him go for a player with Durant’s age and injury history.
The Toronto Raptors don’t want to surrender Scottie Barnes.
Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists last season. Barnes did everything from playing the small-ball center role to handling backup point guard duties at just 20 years old. No wonder the Raptors have no interest in sending him somewhere else in the offseason.
Barnes was able to be an effective scorer and defender in the NBA despite being asked to fill multiple important roles and lacking a tremendous 3-point shot. With that jumper looking much better in the offseason, Barnes’ luck might be ready to turn.
Barnes claimed that he has known for some time that he is staying in Toronto long-term and not even being considered in a KD move. Straight from the source itself, it appears as though Barnes has confirmed he is off the table and will wear the red and black No. 4 next year.
Adding Durant would be a fantastic move for the Raptors, but giving up Barnes to get him would be akin to selling their future away for three more seasons of Durant. Keeping Barnes gives them a star-level talent to build around for the next decade with or without KD.