Six years ago, Kevin Durant shocked the basketball world by deciding to sign with the Golden State Warriors and joining Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to create a super team that went on to the next three NBA Finals, winning two of them.
Durant shook up the NBA for the second time last week, requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Will we ever know where his new home will be on US Independence Day?
Durant, 33, has reportedly listed Phoenix and Miami as his preferred business destinations, but half of the NBA is expected to kick the tires on a deal for one of the current top five players in the league who recently he was voted one of the best 75 to play in history. the NBA
One of those teams, of course, would be the Raptors, and fans here debated all weekend over who they would include in a potential trade for the 12-time All-Star who tore his Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals. 2019 in Toronto. After missing the entire 2019-20 season, he played just 90 games the past two regular seasons.
Here’s a sample of what has been said among some of the top NBA insiders in the US, and speculation on what a potential deal might look like (with link to full story):
Of all the destinations outside of PhoenixHowever, the one that seems more realistic is the one in Toronto. The Raptors have a lot of cool pieces, plenty of salary-matching options, they own all of their future picks and they’re not afraid to spend taxes on a winner. The question: Where is the line for the Raptors? Is it worth giving up rookie of the year Scottie Barnes? I’m going to say “hell no” on that, really, since the Raptors would be trading a decade-plus window with Barnes for a short-term supernova with Durant. Keeping Barnes, on the other hand, is what would make it acceptable to hand over a ton of future draft action to Durant.
Toronto loves nothing more than long lanky wings. Durant is the best of all. The Raptors already have one of the most imposing defenses in the NBA. Durant could solve his halfcourt offensive woes in the blink of an eye. The questions here are the same as for Cleveland. Does Durant want to go north of the border? And are the Raptors willing to sacrifice Scottie Barnes’ entire career for a brief title shot? Again, I think the answer is no.
Durant for Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr.
Pascal Siakam and Anunoby, plus multiple first-round picks and multiple trades.
This probably comes down to how expensive (Brooklyn GM Sean) Marks appraises Barnes. If he sees the reigning rookie of the year as a potential cornerstone of the franchise who can lead Brooklyn for years to come, then perhaps he’ll be willing to accept a slightly less “win now” package in favor of securing that advantage long term. term. If not, well, Masai Ujiri can structure the offer around a 28-year-old two-time All-NBA forward who plays arguably the best ball of his career, plus Anunoby, a defensive-caliber swingman with 20-point potential. . -score up. On the one hand, it’s a lot to give up for a player who doesn’t necessarily want to be there (although KD did want to be a Raptor once). On the other hand, Ujiri is pretty famous when it comes to betting on himself and Toronto, and he’s done pretty well before.
Durant for Barnes, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., 2027 first-round pick, 2028 first-round pick trade, 2029 first-round pick.
What would be the sequel to the Kawhi Leonard trade, but it also illustrates how difficult it is to measure Durant’s worth. Would the Nets want Pascal Siakam? Y Scottie Barnes? This conversation boils down to how Brooklyn sees Barnes’ potential. He may be on his way to being the leader of a great team, which would give the Nets a rising star to build around, some rotational pieces that fit nicely with the current group, and the draft capital they it would come after Durant’s contract expires. .
Toronto is an intriguing potential destination, as the Raptors could put together an attractive trade package that would allow them to retain most of their best players. With Durant, the Raptors would be a formidable contender in the East. A big question would be whether the Raptors are willing to part with Scottie Barnes, the reigning NBA rookie of the year. Toronto would go to great lengths to keep Barnes, but Brooklyn would presumably covet him as the centerpiece of any Durant return.
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