The Toronto Raptors have been one of the teams that have shown interest to trade for NBA superstar Kevin Durant, who wants to leave the Brooklyn Nets.
Even though the Raptors were willing to construct a package for Durant, talks with the Nets never progressed.
Brooklyn’s extremely high trade demands have made it difficult for Toronto to strike a deal for the two-time NBA champion.
However, the question is whether it makes sense for the franchise to break up its core and land the two-time NBA Finals MVP.
The Raptors are coming off a season where they won 48 games (48-34), while battling injuries, a COVID-19 outbreak and the toughest pandemic restrictions of any NBA city.
The organization was forced to play without fans for large swaths of the season and started the season without All Star big man, Pascal Siakam. However, the team finished fifth in the standings, showing they can become a legit playoff contender, despite an early playoff exit.
That said, Hedgeout.net presents one reason why the Raptors should keep their core together and run it back with the same roster.
Raptors have a bright future with their core of young stars
The Toronto Raptors were among the teams that exceeded expectations last season, thanks to their young core.
With Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet leading the way, and Scottie Barnes having a breakout year, the Raptors emerged as a playoff contender.
Coming off a successful season, the franchise should have its sights set on developing its core and building a championship-contender team around its young stars.
With Siakam and VanVleet being untouchable in trade talks, the Raptors would need to include Barnes, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. in the trade package for Durant. Yet, this wouldn’t benefit the team long-term.
Even though Kevin Durant is a top-tier NBA player, he has become injury prone and hasn’t played a full season since 2018. In addition, he is turning 34 years old, which means his prime years are behind him.
With that in mind, it would be better for the Raptors to keep their core intact and build a bright future instead of creating a win-now team, giving up the majority of their assets.
In addition, and given the Raptors’ unwillingness to include Scottie Barnes in any deal for Durant, it will be difficult to strike a deal for Kevin Durant, as the Nets want to receive an All-Star player, a Rising Star and multiple draft picks in return.
Moving closer to the training camp in late September, it will become more clear whether Toronto will engage in talks with the Nets.
At the moment, the franchise doesn’t seem to move to that direction and focus on the start of the new season, aiming to run it back with the same roster.
With the NBA set to announce the schedule for the coming season on Wednesday, Toronto is expected to collide with the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 19.
This will be the fourth time in Raptors’ franchise history that Toronto will collide with the Cavaliers – their most against any opponent.