The Kevin Durant sweepstakes are well underway, with the Brooklyn Nets superstar requesting a trade from the organization last week, and Raptors Twitter has not been shy about its thirst. “KD to Toronto” began trending online pretty much as soon as the news broke. And the Vegas odds certainly have not helped quell the hysteria.
After opening at +3,500 to acquire Durant, the Raptors’ chances have since soared to +250 as of Tuesday, which means there’s a 30 percent chance we’ll see the All-Star forward in a Toronto jersey next season, according to Draft Kings. BetOnline, meanwhile, has the Raptors’ odds at +200. Those are the second-best odds in the league, placing them right behind the Phoenix Suns, whose chances sit at -125. The Suns are reportedly one of Durant’s preferred destinations.
The Raptors are team that has been “lurking” in the KD trade talks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “They have all the kinds of pieces that you would want, and the picks, to do a deal for Kevin Durant,” he said during Friday’s edition of NBA Today.
On Tuesday, Woj returned to the show to say that while the Nets are in no rush to pursue a trade, the Raptors represent the most “seamless trade for Brooklyn.”
“They can do a one-on-one trade with the Raptors. The assets are there, the… quality enough players, draft picks, and contracts that match up,” he said. “I think ultimately that’s the least complicated deal.”
The Raptors’ OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., and Scottie Barnes—plus a slew of first-round picks—are among the names that have been floated in possible trade scenarios for KD. Though you’d have to think Raptors president Masai Ujiri would have a tough time parting with Barnes, who was just crowned the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. Still, we all know the success he had when he acquired superstar Kawhi Leonard in a trade for franchise player DeMar Derozan, so he’s surely considering all possibilities.
Durant has four years and almost $200 million remaining on his contract, which means it will likely take a boatload of players and/or draft picks to land him. Pascal Siakam is currently the highest-paid player on the Raptors squad, making over $35 million a year.
KD has consistently shown love to Toronto throughout the years. In a 2013 interview on The Dan Patrick Show, the All-Star stunned the host when responding to a question about his childhood dream of becoming an NBA player.
“Believe it or not, I wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors,” Durant said. “That was my favorite team growing up.”
Earlier this year, during an appearance on Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, Durant said Scotiabank Arena was one of the venues he enjoys playing at the most. “The most fun I have is when we go to Toronto and play,” he said.
So you can see why Toronto fans have been losing their shit over this.
Vegas thinks the Raptors and the Suns are the only team with a higher likelihood of acquiring Durant than him remaining with the Nets next season. Brooklyn currently sits at +700 to keep the superstar. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat both sit at +1400.
Maybe KD will come to Toronto. Maybe not. Whatever happens, we’ll always have the tweets.