While fireworks will be popping off from Golden State to Brooklyn, Phoenix to Miami, and everywhere in between throughout the country today, north of the border, it’s business as usual. While Toronto and the rest of Canada won’t be observing the July 4th holiday, the Raptors organization woke up Monday morning with a reason to at the very least set off some sparklers to wave around.
Masai Ujiri’s team has shot up the odds board with the power of any Texas rocket, triple whistler, or roman candle on the market. Toronto’s opening odds (+3500) to land Kevin Durant were about as exciting as the old Burning Schoolhouse, which traditionally concluded family firework shows with a dud. If you haven’t seen this display, which is essentially the equivalent of setting a shoe box on fire, do yourself a favor and check it out on Youtube.
Now, the Brooklyn Nets franchise begins to resemble a burning building or at least a tire fire, on the verge of losing Kyrie Irving in addition to their best player. The Raptors rocketed to second on the odds board at +250 and are legit players in the KD cookout with about a 30 percent chance of bringing Durant to his favorite childhood team.
Sure, the Phoenix Suns are still the top contenders at -130 or around a 57 percent chance to scorch New York’s other team and play the firefighter role in dragging Durant out of Brooklyn as it burns, but Toronto has been here before.
Ujiri and company sent shockwaves heard around the league worthy of the loudest Screaming Mimi back in 2018. After again being eliminated by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs, Toronto landed Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs for franchise cornerstone DeMar DeRozan in 2018 and went on to win the league title.
Pascal Siakam seems like the 2022 DeRozan comparable. He would likely have to be included in a package for Durant, especially if the Raptors stand pat on keeping NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.
Siakam is coming off his best year as a pro. In his sixth season with the Raps, Siakam lit up the skies by leading Toronto in scoring (22.8 PPG) while putting up career-bests in rebounds (8.5 RPG) and steals (1.3 SPG).
Toronto also has a full complement of future first-round draft picks and young players like OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet that could help light Brooklyn’s wick on firing off on a deal.
The heat in Miami on bringing in KD is burning at the level of a bottle rocket, one of the lamest fireworks in memory. Jimmy Butler’s bunch sit +1000 or about a nine percent chance of blasting Durant to South Beach.
Stay tuned, and Happy Fourth of July!