Ever since Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, the Toronto Raptors immediately emerged as a potential destination for the 2014 NBA MVP.
As things play out during the remainder of the offseason, we may see KD take in some tennis in New York City and check out some US Open odds to help determine who he thinks is going to emerge victorious in those games.
But eventually, KD is going to have to shift his focus back to basketball, as he is, afterall, making hundreds of millions of dollars playing that sport.
With that said, he will have to come to a decision on if he would rather just stay with his current team or follow through on his trade request and go to a different team.
The Raptors are an interesting suitor because they have a few players that can help them win games now and then some assets that can help win them some games in the future.
Long story short, they have what it takes to get a deal done straight up with the Nets, but they will have some difficult decisions to make if they hope to acquire arguably the best scorer the league has ever seen.
One of the main things they’re going to have to consider is parting ways with Scottie Barnes.
Barnes is coming off a season in which he won Rookie of the Year, as he displayed tremendous promise as a superstar in this league for years to come with his athleticism and defensive abilities.
He will need to improve his 3-point shot to enter the discussion as a top 5 player in the league one day, but for now, he has all of the other intangibles to be the face of a franchise.
Barnes won’t be the only asset the Raptors would have to relinquish however, as Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and future draft capital.
That is quite a bit to give up, but if you want to have arguably the best player in the game still in the prime of his career, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny.
Odds for the US Open are usually good indicators of what will come, odds are the Raptors would likely be willing to part with one of Siakam/VanVleet, Anunoby and picks to get the deal done, but by all means they’re almost certainly not going to want to include Barnes in any such proposal.
The Raptors as currently constructed are capable of making the playoffs and winning a first round series, but what they have going for them is their youth and the fact they have an All-NBA player in Siakam under contract for a couple of more seasons.
Adding a player of Durant’s caliber is attractive on the surface of things, but he is about to be 34 years old and does come with a serious risk of injury at this point of his career.
Plus, the Raptors are going to have to gut a significant amount of their roster in order to get their hands on Durant.
If they get Durant, there’s a good chance Siakam or VanVleet could stick around, but with a lot of their depth and future assets being dealt away in any potential deal for KD, there won’t be a ton of flexibility in building out their team aside from bringing in some vets or young players on cheaper contracts and hope that they’re willing to take that type of deal to potentially win a championship.
Besides, it looks like KD more or less has his eyes on either the Phoenix Suns or Miami Heat anyway.
With all of this said, it appears very unlikely that the Nets and Raptors will ever come to any sort of agreement, as the Raptors appear extremely unwilling to trade away Barnes, which is probably the right move.
As things play out, there will be some excellent tennis coming our way with the US Open odds 2022 slowly being released.