The Toronto Raptors are in the mix to acquire Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, but they are reportedly hoping to keep the reigning Rookie of the Year out of the deal, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.
"The Raptors have remained fixed on keeping rookie of the year Scottie Barnes out of any package they are offering," Grange reported.
Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game after being drafted No. 4 last year. The 20-year-old impressed with his defense, while his offensive upside remains high even without a consistent outside shot at the moment.
Barnes' 6.6 win shares in 2021-22 easily led all players from his draft class, per Basketball Reference.
Considering the 6'7", 225-pound forward is under team control for three more years, plus a potential rookie contract extension, the Raptors clearly don't want to lose the emerging star.
Toronto could still be in the mix for Durant thanks to the other assets within the organization.
Pascal Siakam is a 2020 All-Star coming off another strong season, averaging 22.8 points per game while setting career highs with 8.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. could also headline a package as young difference-makers who are already proven at this level. Anunoby, 24, averaged 17.1 points last season, while Trent, 23, scored 18.3 points per game.
The Raptors also have all of their own first-round picks going forward, with only a 2024 second-round pick going to the Memphis Grizzlies. They could add up to four first-round picks in a deal with the Nets, plus some pick swaps if needed.
With Durant, Barnes, Fred VanVleet and whoever is left after a trade, the Raptors would likely still have enough to contend in 2023 and beyond.