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Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors

That’s A Rap #186: Dreaming of Durant

The Raptors have the pieces to acquire Kevin (freaking) Durant. The Raptors also have the pieces — and coaching staff — to improve on last year’s turnaround season, even without KD. Oh, what a time to be a Raptors fan!

Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

This was supposed to be a fairly boring off-season for the Raptors.

Never underestimate the heart of a disgruntled superstar! The now-annual tradition of an NBA superstar requesting a trade continued when Kevin Durant made his intentions known last Thursday (doesn’t it feel like it was a month ago?!?).

A combination of internal growth, tradeable salaries, and enticing upside has afforded Toronto with a plethora of options as an ideal trade partner. KD may have requested a trade to Phoenix or Miami, but it’s Toronto that currently sits third in Vegas odds to acquire the Slim Reaper. The two teams with better odds have significant concerns. The Suns are hoping their biggest trade piece (Deandre Ayton) does not receive an offer sheet (hello Indiana). The Nets’ recent moves indicate they may try to run it back. However, when’s the last time a player has requested a trade, not gotten traded, and returned to play (and be happy doing so)?

In other words, there’s a reason for excitement in Toronto. Join in the fun, check out the latest episode, and chime in below with your KD-related comments.

In This Episode:

1:15 — Divided States of America

There’s a lot going on south of the border and, frankly, none of it has been good. Women have lost their right to abort. Of much less importance, but annoying nonetheless, Chris Broussard got what he wanted — our attention.

14:35 — Kevin DuranT.O.

One of the greatest scorers in NBA history is available at the right price. At what point does that price matter for Masai and Bobby? Is Scottie Barnes the deciding factor? Masai can swing a deal without Pascal and/or Scottie AND be the best offer Brooklyn receives. But can he convince Sean Marks? How does Deandre Ayton’s situation affect the Raptors? Hopefully, these questions get answered soon because my screen time and sleep schedule need breaks.

41:30 — Familiar faces

While the NBA world focuses on Durant, Masai might have pulled off the best acquisition of the off-season by bringing Rico Hines on board. Hines is legendary for his summer sessions. Every single NBA star has received some form of training or coaching from him. Specifically, Pascal Siakam’s development has been aided in large part by Hines’ development program. Imagine what year-round access to his coaching will add to Toronto’s already-incredible player development system. Rico’s signing overshadowed a pair of important re-signings — Thaddeus Young & Chris Boucher — and another solid two-way wing (and former Raptor Killer) in Otto Porter Jr.

Brutal third quarter spells doom, Raptors fall 116-110 to Celtics

Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics Matchup: Raps face their biggest test to date

The Rap-Up: Manipulating the All-Star ballot