Kevin Durant Watch: Who the Raptors shouldn't trade for KD

Amit Mann and Yasmin Duale rank which of the Raptors' core players are most valuable to the team if management is able to swing a deal for Kevin Durant. Full episode is available on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: When you look at the top six players that the Raptors have, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Gary Trent Jr., you could put a few of those players in a couple of picks and that's a pretty good deal for anyone. The Nets want to play hard ball, that's fine. But most teams would take any two of those players. And so my question to you, Yasmin, because it's easier to do something like this versus doing trade proposals. It's just those are kind of murky. Stack rank the top six you'd be the most hesitant to put into a trade for Kevin Durant, factoring in their value today and also what it could mean for future Raptors playoff hopes and championships, so in the event that they were to get Kevin Durant.

YASMIN DUALE: Looking at the list, I think that the order I see right now, so Barnes, Siakam, and Anunoby, VanVleet, Trent, Achiuwa. The only things I would change is Achiuwa and Trent. So I would have Trent as the most tradable. He is going to be, I think, he's on a two year, right? So there's one more year left before he's expecting a contract.

AMIT MANN: After next season.

YASMIN DUALE: Yeah, in terms of that also I think that his skill as a 3 and D guy is, he's so talented but it's also I think the more replaceable skill set.

AMIT MANN: Yeah.

YASMIN DUALE: So I think the guys that are ranked above him on the team have things that-- skills that are more difficult to replace. And yeah, so Barnes would be the most untradable for me followed by Siakam. I think that if you're trading for a talent like KD, you need a proven number two option in Pascal.

And you know considering his improvement since the championship season, like just imagine how good he would be now alongside a superstar. So if he was able to do that as his first year as an NBA starter, imagine now after so many years practicing as the number one guy, leading the team to 48 wins, to the postseason, and all of that good stuff. So, yeah, so and then in the middle of the pack you have VanVleet.

No one's really talking about it. But I think that he can be looked at as potentially an option in any trade proposals. I'm not saying that his skill set is replaceable or anything. But I do think that because this team has big men in Scottie Barnes and Pascal, who are great facilitators, who are great at running point, it makes it very interesting.

Like, who knows if the team would be comfortable with Scottie at point guard. So it makes things-- it will give us a lot of indication the direction of the team. And they've been so adamant about this vision of having larger players who have varied skill sets at the same time. You know, who knows what the direction they take is? But yeah, that's how I'd rank them.

AMIT MANN: Yeah, very similar for me. There's a few things that might be a little bit different. But I had an order of, you cannot trade this person to, he can be traded. Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam. I had Fred third, OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Gary Trent Jr. I put Fred third only because if we're looking at trying to win an NBA championship, I think he has a lot of value.

And the intangibles aspect, he is the person who will have that conversation at a time out. And I don't think KD or Pascal Siakam, he's learning about this but he's not necessarily a vocal leader yet. But Fred is. And he's been doing it for a few years. He's your steady Freddie. He's already done it in big moments.

He is the person who's going to hit the big free throw, who's going to corral a loose ball in those clutch moments. He just has a lot to offer a championship roster and that's what you're trying to build. In the event you get Kevin Durant, you immediately flick the switch and all of a sudden you're an eight and nine guy.

It can't be Justin Champagnie and Delano Banton, right? It has to be other players because you need championship caliber players. That's why Otto Porter Jr., so excited that he's a Raptor. And then OG I mean, he's obviously like very hard to part with. He hasn't reached the ceiling at all. And there's still so much that he's going to be able to learn over the next few seasons and all that.

But his offensive game still needs some refining. He's still working on that. And obviously Pascal, he's closer to becoming a number one. And we already know he's been a number two already. And I mean Pascal. Like, who knows what he's going to look like next season. I think he's about-- he's going to in the lab now. He's vowed that he's going to become a better 3 point shooter. I have no reason to believe that he will not become a much better 3 point shooter.

And so you think of Scottie Barnes Pascal Siakam, and Kevin Durant I am more comfortable with those skill sets than if you were to put Pascal or OG Anunoby in there instead of Pascal. I think you just have more versatility. You have more offense. And you're still maintaining obviously, your defense. OG is an incredible defender, could be all defense one day. But you're also gaining Kevin Durant and so the skill sets are kind of similar.

Another reason why you want to make sure that you have a point guard. And point guards are still very valuable in the NBA, small players, shooting guards. 6 foot 2 players, screen navigation. Hitting 3's Fred's obviously probably the-- well, I guess not to Kevin Durant's a different story. But he's a very good 3 point shooter and he's going to be able to be a great catch and shoot player in that aspect if it's needed.

And then afterwards [INAUDIBLE] Gary Trent Jr. Obviously Gary is probably the most tradeable asset. But I'm not going to sleep on his potential. I think he's got-- as he learns about how his skill set is going to translate to the NBA and where he's most effective, I think he's going to learn about that. He's not the most athletic player. But if he bulks up a little bit, do some pushing around of players in the post, maybe he could actually become like a more of a three level scorer than we had originally anticipated.

But the Raptors having all these players on their roster is so damn impressive. I got to say. And they're all in good contracts.

YASMIN DUALE: Yeah, I think that's what has helped them so much even with the odds. I find that a lot of NBA fans just haven't watched the Raptors. I can't even blame them. They just don't have access to the games a lot of the time. So they're not familiar with all of the pieces on the team that people value so highly.

That's why they're surprised when people like [INAUDIBLE] get All-Star or Pascal get All-NBA because they're just not familiar with their game. But coaching is, scouting is, other team's front offices are, which is why you're always going to hear their names in these discussions. Because the teams that interact with them regularly, especially our Atlantic division rivals in the Nets are very familiar with their game.

They've been playing players like, they've seen OG dominate against them. They've seen Gary and Pascal have their way against them four times a year. So.

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