Could Raptors Trade For Kevin Durant? Betting Odds See Slight Boost

Could Durant move up north?

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After Kevin Durant made his reported trade request to the Brooklyn Nets front office, nearly every fanbase was trying to find a way to get the 10-time All-NBA star onto their squad.

Durant reportedly had a wish list of teams he wanted to be traded to, and the Phoenix Suns were at the top, along with the Miami Heat. There have been reports Durant and Kyrie Irving could be package together to go to the Los Angeles Lakers. Even the Boston Celtics could theoretically put a package together for Durant.

But what about the Toronto Raptors? They are only three years removed from having won an NBA Championship with Kawhi Leonard, who moved to the Los Angeles Clippers the following offseason.

ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski floated the idea of the Raptors trading for Durant on NBA Today.

“…Especially for smaller market teams, non-destination market teams, they don’t ever get a chance at a player like Kevin Durant in free agency — maybe they can get fortunate like Oklahoma City and draft him and have him for a couple of contracts,” Wojnarowski said Friday. “But this is a rare opportunity to do that, and I think a team that is lurking and is gonna lurk is Toronto.

“They have all the kinds of pieces that you would want and their picks to do a deal for Kevin Durant, and they have an organization, a leader in Masai Ujiri — you saw the chance he took on Kawhi Leonard with one year left on his deal.

“How far are the Raptors willing to go in an offer to Brooklyn? Would they offer Scottie Barnes? I think that’s a player that Toronto, almost under any circumstances, would not like to part with but having him on their roster, Pascal Siakiam, all their other players, contracts that might match up — I think you keep watching Toronto to see how involved they might get for Kevin Durant.”

Wojnarowski is correct in how salaries can easily match up in a Durant trade with the Nets. Ujiri is well known to not get too attached to players in order to maximize the potential of his roster — Leonard was acquired after trading away fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Raptors will likely have to part away with players like Siakiam, Fred VanVleet or OG Anunoby to entice the Nets, and while Barnes would likely have to be part of the deal, that isn’t necessarily a requirement.

The Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers on Friday without having to give up a key asset in return — a 2023 first-round pick was the only asset of value in the trade. The Raptors can easily part away with a draft pick to acquire Durant, and it appears sportsbooks have caught on.

Toronto’s odds to acquire Durant sat at +1200 on DraftKings Sportsbook before Wojnarowski’s report. After the report came out, the Raptors odds of having Durant on their team are at +750 — only the Suns (-200) and the Nets (+700) have better odds.

Ujiri traded away Carmelo Anthony in 2011 to the New York Knicks when he was the head of the Denver Nuggets front office. He was instrumental in bringing in Leonard and was paid dividends with an NBA Championship in 2019, even just for one year. Perhaps the Raptors vice chairman and president of basketball operations has one more move up his sleeve to insert Toronto back into the title picture.

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