Earlier this week, it became public knowledge that the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics engaged in some trade discussions centered around two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. While there was some debate about when the discussions were actually held between the teams, the fact remains that negotiations were held.
The Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and picks in exchange for Durant, which the Nets declined. Brooklyn would like Marcus Smart to also be included in the deal. If Smart gets put on the table, there is a real chance that Durant could be heading to Beantown.
While we seem to be moving closer to a blockbuster trade getting completed, there are still plenty of other teams doing their best to acquire the former MVP. One of those teams is the Toronto Raptors.
From the beginning when Durant requested a trade, the Raptors were mentioned as a potential landing spot. They were described as a team lurking, as Masai Ujiri has shown he isn’t afraid of pulling the trigger on a big deal if it means getting the team closer to a title. He acquired Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs despite his unknown future and it resulted in a Larry O’Brien trophy.
Toronto is confident that they have the strongest trade package to offer. But, they have been unwilling to include reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes Jr. in any negotiations. Much like the standoff between Boston and Brooklyn, should the Raptors include Barnes, a deal has a strong chance of getting done.
According to Michael Scotto during a recent episode of the HoopsHype Podcast, Barnes is who the Nets want from Toronto in any Durant trade.
“You mentioned Toronto being the favorite,” he said. “If they put in Scottie Barnes, which they haven’t done to this point, then I think you have a real conversation. That’s who Brooklyn is angling for (in trade talks with the Raptors).”
Many people believe that Barnes will ascend to All-Star status sooner than later. He had an excellent rookie campaign, averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 35.4 minutes per game.
A two-way wing with the playmaking potential that Barnes possesses is an excellent centerpiece of a trade package for the Nets to acquire. For now, the teams are at a standstill though as neither is budging from their position.
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