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NBA Executive Says He Would Trade Scottie Barnes For Kevin Durant, But Not Donovan Mitchell

NBA Executive Says He Would Trade Scottie Barnes For Kevin Durant, But Not Donovan Mitchell

The Toronto Raptors have had a pretty quiet summer overall, but their involvement in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes has been well documented.

Listed as one of the strongest contenders for KD, the Raptors appeared to be on the verge of securing a huge deal before it all fell apart.

Likely, it has to do with the NBA's Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes. He would have to be included in any deal for Durant, but the Raptors have been hesitant to give him up. According to one NBA executive, that's a big mistake for the Raptors.

(via Ahn Fire Digital):

Brian Windhorst, Tim MacMahon and Tim Bontemps discussed Toronto’s situation regarding Durant talks during a recent podcast episode.

While Windhorst and Bontemps said they wouldn’t give up Barnes for Durant, MacMahon had some intel on how one executive feels about the idea.

"An executive who I respect said he would give up Scottie Barnes for K.D. — not for Donovan Mitchell, but for K.D.," MacMahon said.

Of course, the Brooklyn Nets aren't just going to give up their best player for nothing, especially not when he still has multiple years left on his deal. In fact, Barnes would just be a starting point in negotiations.

Despite all that, the Raptors remain strong contenders in this simply because of the package they can offer.

After Durant’s trade request on June 30, the Nets engaged in conversations with almost every team in the league, according to sources. But because the Nets have set a sky-high threshold for the return the franchise wants for Durant — a two-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP, a former league MVP and 12-time All-Star — teams have not yet been able to meet the asking price.

The Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat remain the most significant candidates to acquire Durant, sources said, with Boston’s package centering around All-Star forward Jaylen Brown seen as a viable deal. Tsai and the Nets have made clear privately that they will take every last asset from a team that trades for Durant, sources said.

The question is, can the Raptors be convinced to meet Brooklyn's insanely high asking price? For now, the answer is no. The Raptors have made it clear they have no intention of trading Barnes, who averaged 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game on 49.2% shooting last season.

Hopefully, their trust in him will be rewarded with some excellent play. If not, they could come to regret missing out on this potentially huge opportunity.