NBA Rumors: Raptors "Hesitant" To Put Barnes In Any Trade for Durant

While "over half the league" has made calls to the Brooklyn Nets with the intent of offering just about anything to try to acquire the disgruntled Kevin Durant, one team appears to be holding firm on its stance. NBA Insider Brian Lewis reports Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors is not keen on letting his Rookie of the Year go:

League executives who spoke with The New York Post said Toronto was not only well-positioned, but confident of being able to put together the best package. The Raptors have balked at the notion of putting Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in any deal, although those same executives opined that could be a negotiating ploy by savvy Masai Ujiri, who has a history of pulling off huge trades. 

Ujiri engineered the deal that brought superstar Kawhi Leonard—and a championship—to Toronto in 2019. However, this situation with Durant is completely different. In 2018, the Raptors were essentially at the end of the DeMar DeRozan era, as it had failed, time and again, to reach the playoff promised land despite strong regular seasons. 

In 2022, the Raptors have a young nucleus that's building something, led by a 20-year-old budding superstar in Barnes; blowing all of that up to trade for a 34-year-old oft-injured Durant—even as a Top 5 talent in the league—doesn't guarantee success, as they'd have to dismantle so many of the strong pieces they have. 

And let's just say most media and fans in Toronto wholeheartedly agree.

Of course, Phoenix and Miami are Durant's preferred destinations anyway, and Lewis reports other conversations are also taking place with the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies. 3-or-4 team deals will need to be explored. 

This could take the entire summer to resolve. Or longer.

Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports