The Raptors should try to convince Brooklyn to accept a package headlined by Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby, but VanVleet needs to be included if the Nets put their foot down and insist on one proven All-Star player. Durant is aging, but how often is a player like him signed for four years and asking out?
If Barnes develops like Toronto expects him to, VanVleet will be the No. 3 offensive option on this team behind Scottie and Siakam. While VanVleet was a no-doubt All-Star last year who brings a ton to the table on both ends, refusing to acquire a player like Durant because of him is very risky.
The Toronto Raptors must look at dealing Fred VanVleet.
When VanVleet is one of your team’s core players, that squad will likely contend for a top-four seed and potentially make a deep playoff run. The second Durant shows up in Toronto with that red and black jersey on, the Raptors would be the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
While the Kawhi Leonard solution differs slightly in that Toronto was closer to being a contender and the return was not as steep, it was Ujiri’s aggression that helped the Raptors find the missing piece they needed to contend. Getting similarly risky might land Durant in Raptors colors.