The Toronto Raptors will continue to be brought up in Kevin Durant trade rumors until his request for a move gets resolved one way or another. One of the few contenders with the movable assets needed for a trade, Toronto has been linked to him from the start.
The Raptors’ ability to acquire him will hinge directly on how willing Sean Marks is to knock down the astronomically high asking price. Packages led by names like Jaylen Brown have reportedly not done enough to convince Marks that Durant is a player with giving up on.
The Raptors’ best hope may be Durant making things so messy that Marks is forced to accept the highest bid and get rid of him. The Raptors will need to stay engaged throughout training camp, as KD sounds willing to make things as uncomfortable as possible for all parties involved.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN hints that Durant could decide to hold out if his trade request is not fulfilled. Considering how many assumed Durant’s age and love for the game would have forced him back to training camp, the fact KD is willing to dig his heels in this much is quite the development.
Will the Toronto Raptors end up getting Kevin Durant?
The Nets are reportedly trying to milk their hypothetical trade partner dry in trade talks, taking every last available asset they have in exchange for Durant. Considering Ujiri’s general reluctance to go all-in to such a cartoonish extent, it makes sense as to why trade speculation has cooled off just a bit.
The Raptors likely have not budged in their demand to keep Scottie Barnes in trade talks, leaving an avenue for teams like Boston and Philadelphia to come in and get on the line with Sean Marks. Toronto would likely send Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby over with a large group of draft picks.
If the Raptors can somehow pull this off, KD would join a team featuring a Rookie of the Year (Barnes), the first undrafted player in over a decade to make the All-Star team (Fred VanVleet), and an All-NBA forward (Pascal Siakam) who could serve as his co-star. That’s easily good enough to win the East.
Unless the Nets fire both their coach and GM to appease Durant, which is looking unlikely based on the show of support from owner Joe Tsai, KD is likely going to begin the season somewhere else. Ujiri will need to work hard to make sure that “somewhere else” ends up being Toronto.