The potential price of acquisition Kevin Durant is not what should matter most birds of preyargues Scott Stinson of The National Post, who says that deciding whether Durant would actually be motivated and invested to play for Toronto should be the most important factor for the team’s senior decision-makers.
As Stinson writes, Durant’s motivation for requesting a trade from Brooklyn remains somewhat nebulous, especially since he only signed a four-year extension last August. That should affect the vice chairman and president of basketball operations Maasai Ujiribecause, according to Stinson, dealing with a superstar who might not be engaged or on the same page as the club could be disastrous.
Draw parallels between Ujiri’s trade for Kawhi Leonard in the 2018 off-season on the Durant Sweepstakes doesn’t make sense, according to Stinson, because the situations aren’t similar.
Leonard had an injury that caused him to miss almost all of the 2017-18 season, was on an expiring contract, and the Raptors teams led him Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan had been given plenty of time to break through in the east, but couldn’t get by Lebron James. The Raptors finished second in the East in the two years after Leonard left Toronto, so the team obviously stayed competitive and wasn’t pledging its future to win it, Stinson writes.
Durant, on the other hand, has four years left on his contract so obviously it’s going to cost a lot more to land him, plus the current version of the Raptors is rising with Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent jrand Precious Achiuwa among the newcomers who made significant contributions to a team that improved its overall wins from 27 to 48. Breaking away from an emerging core just for Durant to balk at the idea of staying could plunge Toronto into a hole that would be difficult to get out of, Stinson says.
Here is more from the Atlantic:
- Might play a lesser role on that Celts To use Malcolm Brogdon from a health point of view? “What’s stopping him from dropping out of college is that he had terrible knees‘ a rival general manager told Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpet. “I mean, some of the exams were really suspicious as to how long his lower body would hold up to NBA pounding. That’s why he ended up going into the second round because he was damn close to the red flag. So the fact of the matter is he’s probably better off coming off the bench with limited minutes and trying to be effective at 18 rather than trying to play 30 and always being injured. The question is how he will accept that.” Boston reportedly sees Brogdon as a sixth man, and he said shortly after the deal was announced that he was motivated to win a championship and was willing to sacrifice his individual stats to improve the team.
- De’Anthony Melton thinks it’s a “great” fit for them sixes, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (link to subscribe). “When I saw the team I was like, ‘Okay, this is a great place,'” Melton told The Inquirer over the phone last week. “That suits me perfectly. … I understand what this team needs. I understand what this team is trying to do. I am ready for the task at hand. I’m ready for whatever comes.” Melton was acquired by the Grizzlies in exchange for pick #23 (David Roddy) and Danny Green in a draft day swap.
- Sign Free Agent Guard Jalen Brunson was a solid move for the curtsy but on paper they still look like a game team, says Ian O’Connor of the New York Post. According to O’Connor, while Brunson is a good player and the best point guard the Knicks will employ in years, neither he nor he is RJ Barrett or Julius Randle are capable of being the best – or second best – players on a championship-caliber team and barring nothing drastically changing, New York will start 2022/23 as “just another marginally relevant club”.