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Report: Raptors are unwilling to part ways with Scottie Barnes to acquire Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant and Scottie Barnes
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of the key players in the current sweepstakes for Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant appears to be the Toronto Raptors.

If the Raptors were to acquire Durant, it would not be their first time landing a superstar via trade. As many fans remember well, the Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard in 2018.

A year later, Leonard and his Raptors teammates hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

While no player seemed to be off the table in the trade to land Leonard, the Raptors do reportedly have one player that they will not move in order to land Durant.

That player is none other than Scottie Barnes.

“The Raptors are the most obvious team fitting that description,” wrote Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. “For Toronto to land [Deandre] Ayton, the Raptors would need to sacrifice valuable players or picks in a sign-and-trade that could be used for Durant instead. Of important note regarding Toronto: Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation say the Raptors are unwilling to part with reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.”

As Fischer mentioned, Barnes is the reigning Rookie of the Year. He nabbed the award after averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest in 74 games in the 2021-22 campaign.

He looks like a surefire star at just 20 years of age, and he is sure to only get better going forward.

Still, the Raptors’ confidence in Barnes’ future has to be pretty sizable if they are not willing to move him to get Durant. Durant is still considered one of the best players in the league and could certainly help Toronto win yet another title if a trade were completed.

Still, he’ll be 34 years old by the time the 2022-23 regular season begins and has a well-known injury history.

As the offseason progresses, it will be interesting to monitor the teams that seem to be in the running for Durant. While the Raptors appear to be one of the leading candidates, the Nets may be far less willing to play ball if Barnes is not part of the equation.

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