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Toronto Raptors not even thinking about parting with Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant trade

Andrew Buller-Russ
Scottie Barnes
Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

It will take an extremely valuable player heading back to the Brooklyn Nets to get a Kevin Durant trade completed. The Toronto Raptors have frequently been mentioned as a team who may try and acquire the superstar scorer, but the Nets likely are aiming high, starting with a package built around Scottie Barnes.

But that’s just negotiating. Organizations always start high before lowering their trade demands as discussions go on. Though, it all depends on how willing or desperate a team is to unload their commodities. Durant requested the trade, it’s not like the Nets are actively trying to break up their core.

Chances are, the Nets are in no rush to trade one of the best players in basketball, they may not want to trade Durant at all. In fact, Zach Lowe of ESPN suggests the organization hasn’t given up hope on the idea of Durant rescinding his request to be traded.

Clearly, they are not a team desperate to make a move, but is that because they don’t like the offers they’ve received so far? Its possible.

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Toronto Raptors won’t budge on including Scottie Barnes

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

If the Nets are scanning around the league, looking at teams ready to compete who may be willing to put together a strong trade package for Durant, the Raptors have to stand out. They have the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes.

But why would the Raptors want to quickly turn around and trade their most valuable player before he’s even scratched the surface of his potential?

According to Zach Lowe, the Raptors don’t even want to consider trading Barnes and are refusing to discuss a possible trade involving the fourth pick of the 2021 NBA Draft.

After Barnes averaged 15.3 PPG to go with 7.5 RPG and 1.8 combined blocks and steals per contest at the age of 20, they want to see what he can add to his game this offseason. It’s not hard to understand why they’re more compelled to stick with the player they already know can thrive in their system, whereas trading for Durant would completely shake up the roster.

That’s not to say a Durant trade might not be their best decision in the long run, but we don’t know how much Durant wants to play for the Raptors either. If his preference is to play for the Miami Heat or the Phoenix Suns instead, it wouldn’t make sense for the Raptors to go all-in for a player who’d prefer to be elsewhere.

Maybe that’s part of their hesitance to put together a package the Nets simply can’t refuse. Or maybe they really do prefer the current path they’re on, hoping their youth can help elevate an experienced group that already knows what it takes to win the NBA Finals as they did in 2019.

Instead, Barnes already loves Toronto, and the fans do too. Keeping him around for as long as possible should be their top priority, even if other shiny objects, like Durant, pop up along the path.

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