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Kevin Durant's story rolls with yet another clubhouse leader to land him, and it's no longer a raptor

Wherever Kevin Durant lands, it will come at a hefty price for the team that acquires him.
Kevin Durant lands Wherever you do it, it will be expensive for the team to win him. Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images

July 4thth, meaning fireworks in the United States increase. Picnics and large beer consumption, not necessarily in this order.

This is a natural pause in terms of the NBA's free agents, but it seems to be just a public pause.

Behind the walls of the NBA team's front office, basketball brains are working 24 hours to find a way to land Kevin Durant.

Once-in-a-generation talent hangs there for five days, basically putting together works for other free agents that haven't been signed yet.

Durant's dominoes must fall before the rest of the dominoes so that the team does not get out of Durant's execution with another signature.

Nobody wants to be that team, certainly not a team of groups interested in getting him.

It's safe to speculate that the Raptors are in that group, but it's possible that their interest will be official before something happens, Masai Ujiri's South Dope red hat. It's almost the same as attending a MAGA rally of incest wearing a hat. Border.

It's not the way the Raptors handle the business, nor the way Ujiri handles him.

Until Sunday, there was a feeling that the Raptors were at the forefront of the possibility of landing in Durant, based on the odds coming out of Las Vegas.

That makes sense. The team has human capital and draft capital to participate in the conversation.

Ujiri and Bobby Webster also have a track record of hitting when irons are hot. Recall here Kawhi Leonard, who helped offer the championship.

Durant's story has some similarities to Leonard's sudden availability, but in many ways it differs.

For one thing, Durant is healthy. Leonard's health was still an issue when the Raptors sent the first round of picks to DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and Keldon Johnson to San Antonio for Leonard and Danny Green.

The number of available and ambitious bidders is much higher this time around.

But if you hear from odds makers suggesting that Toronto is taking some lead until Sunday, by Monday these odds will endorse Phoenix and Toronto is in third place. You have to admit that you fell into the scenario. It was associated with Durant's return to Brooklyn.

The truth is, Durant himself, no one but his business representative, Rich Kleiman. Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks knows who is the leader in Durant's services.

This is a group working to promote trade and you may not know which direction to go at this time.

There are too many possibilities.

From the Raptors' point of view, it is foolish not to be interested in Durant's capable people.

The question is whether you can win him while retaining enough of your talent to make the championship viable.

If Ujiri fully reveals one thing during his tenure in Toronto, the only point in the game is to win. So it's up to Ujiri, Webster and his front office staff to put together enough packages to seduce Brooklyn while leaving something in the cupboard to make the chances of winning here a reality. is.

Another question that needs to be answered is how much of the organization's future needs to be mortgaged in order to put Durant in the Raptors uniform. The

NBA is all precedent, and the latest star in the trade, still below the level of Durrants, was three-time defender of this year's winner, Rudy Gobert.

Gobert went from Utah to Minnesota for four players, one of whom hasn't played in the NBA yet, a 2026 draft pick exchange And four first round picks starting this year, three more in the next six years.

The first three picks are unprotected. In the fourth of 2029, only the top five are protected. The annual influx of talent provided to each team by the

draft will obviously be hit. This is a bet by Timberwolves, undoubtedly, and can be costly for organizations that are currently anxious for success.

Durant chasing teams appear to be gambling the same kind. Perhaps the player back in Brooklyn is a bit better than the package Minnie sent to get Gobert. This can reduce the cost of draft topics, but Marks and Nets haven't posted a list of what Durant needs. .. They are going to get as much as possible. That is exactly how it works.

Durant had four years left on his contract and, with a few exceptions, was able to stay on the floor and even leave the trainer's room.

In 2014-15, he suffered a foot injury in all but 27 games of the year, followed by an Achilles tendon rupture in all of the 2019-20 season and part of the next season. I did, but no one was injured. He says he wasn't durable.

His score hasn't dropped at all, as Achilles proves with an average of 29.9 points last season. But he's going to be 34 in a few months, and above all, he needs to suspend the team.

He said that there are only four or five players in the league who can affect victory as much as Durant.

The Raptors know that and cannot be counted as a potential landing point.

mganter@postmedia.com

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