The Toronto Raptors may decide to look into a Kevin Durant trade once again. After weeks of stagnation due to Toronto’s reluctance to go overboard and trade Scottie Barnes away, talks might start up again after Durant rocked the NBA world on Monday.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Durant told owner Joe Tsai he would only stay with the Nets if Brooklyn replaced head coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks. With Tsai tweeting his support of Brooklyn’s power structure, that probably isn’t happening.
The Raptors have more competition now, as teams like the Boston Celtics have reportedly entered the fray and started sizing up options for a Durant trade. This idea of trading for him is no less risky as a result of the last few days, but Toronto still needs to finalize their best hypothetical offer for the Nets.
Trading for Durant sounds excellent on paper, but there are some thorns on that rose that will make it very difficult for Masai Ujiri to part with some prized long-term assets. Should the Raptors move forward with this plan, especially given all of the competition in the division for him?
Pros and Cons of Toronto Raptors trading for Kevin Durant.
Durant remains a top-five player in the league at the very worst, as his ability to fill up the stat sheet is the only reason the Nets didn’t completely fold and fall out of the postseason picture. The Raptors have some great players. None of them will ever be 30 per game scorers (let alone at age 34) like KD.
Let’s be optimistic and assume that the Raptors can acquire Barnes and Siakam. It’s a tall order, but not impossible. Toronto would end up as one of the best teams in the league and the instant favorites to come out of an Eastern Conference that is still wide open.
Kevin Durant on the Toronto Raptors sounds ideal.
KD has previously voiced his support for the culture in Toronto. From talking up Nick Nurse and heaping praise on Barnes following their first meeting, it seems like Durant really likes what Ujiri is building. Could you ask for a better mentor for Barnes in his formative years than Durant?
While Durant and Kawhi Leonard are two totally different situations with two different asking prices, Ujiri might need to return to the same mindset if he wants to make a similar trade. They will both be risky short-term moves, but the value they bring in the postseason simply can’t be equaled.