Zarar is getting the day off, meaning you’re stuck with an incredibly strange figment of my wretched imagination. You’ve been warned. Don’t read this if you’re not prepared to have your time wasted.

Kevin Durant is a professional basketball player. Sometimes professional basketball players are freed of the shackles of exploitative labor restrictions and are permitted to choose their employer. A number of professional basketball employers would like to employ Durant when he finally earns the freedom to change employers in 2016.

You see, Durant happens to be very good at professional basketball. Perhaps the best, even, according to complicated boxscore aggregate formulas like PER. He also happens to be young, perpetually healthy and extremely gifted at threading basketballs through basketball hoops.

He also once did this to the Toronto Raptors, which broke my heart for a night, for I love the team too much and myself too little. I would like that to never happen again. The Toronto Raptors would like to ensure that he never does that again. This can only be achieved by contractually obligating him against future infractions through lucrative employment.

But as would every other team in the league (except the Timberwolves, who presumably prefer Klay Thompson). Other teams offer glitz, glam, and most importantly, other professional basketball players, so the Raptors face a modicum of resistance in their chase. But their odds aren’t nil, which thereby necessitates an entirely scientific inquiry into quantifying said chance. You can trust my findings. I have earned multiple science credits from a respectable higher institution, and I’m on basketball twitter a lot. I got this.

– 53% – Greivis Vasquez plays here

Here’s an actual series of texts exchanged by Vasquez and Durant, of which came to my possession via my imagination.

Vasquez: Sup bro! Haven’t talked to you since high school. Whassup??

Durant: nm

Vasquez: Word! Congrats on that MVP trophy by the way!

Durant: thx

Vasquez: Cool, cool. Man, we’re like best friends. You’re now the captain of #TeamVasquez. Congrats bro!


Vasquez: So…wanna play for the Raptors?

Durant: …nah

Vasquez: :*(

Vasquez: Pls

Vasquez: Pls…

+ 10% – Durant was a fan of the Raptors as a child

Our childhood experiences shape our lives in unexplained ways. I was once stuck in China with my family on vacation, and stumbled onto Raptors Republic out of sheer boredom. Now I’m littering these pages with mindless rambles.

Will Durant follow a similar path to fulfilling his childhood dreams? Presumably he already has, what with the fame, fortune and that super-cool BBVA commercial to his name. But there’s one thing left on the career bucket-list: play for his childhood favorites in the Toronto Raptors.

Durant was 12-years-old when the Raptors won their first and only playoff series in 2001. Lenny Wilkens was the coach, and the Raptors were a team on the rise. The paint was anchored by Antonio Davis and Charles Oakley, while their attack was supplied by a perimeter combo of Morris Peterson, Vince Carter and Alvin Williams. Save for a clanked corner triple by some dude in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Raptors enjoyed arguably their most successful season ever.

Soaking in every second was a pre-pubescent Durant. There, at his local school playground, a purple-clad gangly teenage practiced shimmying his shoulders before rising up to shoot, repeating the ritual for hours on end until his craft was perfected. His goal was to not miss that shot when it came time for him to fire.

– 400% Vince Carter is not the Toronto Raptors

Yeah, let’s be honest. Durant wasn’t a Raptors fan. He liked Vince Carter, just like every other fan with eyes in 2001. You did too, before he unceremoniously left. And now that he’s gone, and snubbed the franchise in leaving, it looks bad on both sides. Now no one cares about the Raptors. It’s sad but true.

+ 25.8% – Brazilian Kevin Durant is here

Durant’s probably tired of the narrative surrounding his career, that being he’s the only consistent superstar leading the charge in Oklahoma City. He’s their leading rebounder, second in assists, their best go-to-player and he’s even become a strong defender. He does everything.

Here in Toronto, Durant can take the load off and defer to his clone Bruno Caboclo. What’s that? Time’s expiring and someone needs to sink the game-winning basket? Pass it to Bruno. Or, someone needs to shut down LeBron for a possession. No problem, put Bruno on it. Durant needs a towel? Get one for Bruno too. He’s exhausted from not being able to play basketball at an NBA level just yet.

+ 3.7% – Bebe is also a member of the Raptors

Hey, he’s probably better than Kendrick Perkins.

+ 416% – Drake is from Toronto

No word of a lie, Drake might be the Raptors’ best chance of landing Kevin Durant, who is clearly a fan as he showed up to OVO fest on Monday. The Toronto-born hip-hop artist is a huge name in the business of sports and entertainment and while he can’t necessarily give Durant an NBA ring, nor the national spotlight, Drake can certainly grant Durant connections unthinkable to plebeians like you and I. This ain’t the same kid who used to take the Acura at 5 a.m. to go shoot Degrassi up on Morningside. We’re talking about a man who turned innocent lint-rolling into an IKEA-sponsored fad.

Overall: + 2.5% chance Durant comes to Toronto

Real talk: Toronto is most likely not atop Durant’s wish-list in 2016. He basically has his pick of the entire league, and if so, will he really want to come here? He could, say, join LeBron in Cleveland. Or, become the king of New York by signing with either the Knicks or the Nets. Ditto with the Clippers or Lakers in Los Angeles.

At the crux of it all, Durant is like most superstars. He’ll want to win, and be marketable while doing so. Durant has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of LeBron as the template for modern mega-athletes. As two examples, LeBron owns a small stake in a huge soccer club in Liverpool F.C., and reportedly earned $30 million in stock holdings alone in Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats by Dre. Winning and finding a place in championship lore is important, but that’s a fantasy world that’s perpetuated by mindless fandom. Making money like LeBron, and reaching his stature is a real possibility for Durant. He’ll go for that.

And that’s why Drake, and to a less obvious degree Tim Leiweke are the Raptors’ best recruiters. It won’t be childhood nostalgia or Greivis Vasquez that lures Durant. He’ll only be drawn to powerful figures, capable of catapulting him to the rarefied heights of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, be it through on-court success or through upper-class connections. As Stringer Bell once said, “there’s games beyond the fucking game.” That’s why a 12-year-old Durant shimmied his shoulders from dusk till dawn — so he could play in that game.

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  • jakdripr

    Lol, the Kendrick perkins image is too jokes.

  • DC

    Not sure that Durant is like most superstars as far as craving the limelight is concerned. He seems content within himself and modest. That’s why he likes the quiet of OKC and might not like NYC or LA.

  • Jensan

    What a wasted article and the time spent reading this article – will know for next time not to give anytime to this author

    • DDayLewis

      “You’ve been warned. Don’t read this if you’re not prepared to have your time wasted.”

      This wasn’t a big enough sign to not give time to the article? It’s part of the lede.

    • Somepeoplearejustass….

      Get over yourself! Guys filling in dead space between seasons with some humor. If you had the time to make your comment you definately had nothing else to do.

    • Sam

      If you said that about me, everyone would agree and understand, but Will is a fucking champ and we’re in the thick of August.

      • DDayLewis

        Thanks Sam. Your check is in the mail.

    • Rapchat

      Wasted article? Time spent?? READING?? Hahaha not sure about that..

    • tweed8

      I guess you missed the part of the article where he gave you fair warning of its nature? Maybe, the problem is your own?

    • Mtadios

      Um what lol? Did you even read the article? It specifically says don’t read it if you don’t want to waste your time. It’s off season, you want relevant news when our roster is already set … 20 bucks the season starts and Will Lou writes an article you’ll read it without a second thought. I actually enjoy RR articles in the summer, beats not hearing anything raps related.

  • Mark

    I actually think the biggest factor might be JV. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out.

    How many real two-way, low-post centers are there in the NBA currently? Dwight Howard and….Marc Gasol (who mostly works out of the high post anyway)? Maybe you throw Hibbert in there too, but he’s got a lot to prove after last year’s playoffs. Drummond might get there but his game is as raw as JV’s. Think about how hard Durant has to work to create his offence in OKC’s system, and then how easy it would be to play inside-out ball with a legit C and a team full of shooting and slashing. If JV develops into a 2-way star then playing around him with Lowry at the 1, DD/Ross at the 2, Durant at the 3, and Pat/Amir at the 4 is a pretty potent team that can play exactly the kind of versatile offensive ball needed to win in the playoffs, while also being pretty damn solid on D as well. Obviously that’s based on a huge what-if, but JV developing into a top-5 C might be the best recruiting tool the team could have.

  • mcHAPPY

    The Stringer Bell line was an awesome throw in. The fact it actually is relevant to your outstanding point even better.

    • DDayLewis

      Little known fact about the RR crew: being a fan of the Wire is a prerequisite.

      • LuckyMystery

        Being a fan of the Wire should be a prerequisite for living

  • ben

    Dude this was a great read!!!

    • DDayLewis

      Thanks. That’s very kind. Too kind, even.

      • SR

        Clearly ben = William. We’re on to you, buddy…

  • SR

    This summer has taught me it’s virtually impossible to predict how any given NBA star will weigh the on-court/off-court/$$$$ variables when it comes to choosing his next team. Carmelo, Bosh, LeBron have all made different decisions for different reasons while facing basically similar variables. (The angle on LeBron redeeming “The Decision” is balanced by every athlete’s opportunity to go home and be the hero.)

  • DDayLewis

    Here’s an example of what I meant in the last section of the post:

    Durant offered $30 mill per year from Under Armour to switch from Nike

    • DanM

      Shameless self promotion

      • DDayLewis


        • DanM

          Is that a really obscure callback from when I informed you of the definition of nepotism after you misused it in an article?

          • DDayLewis

            It most certainly is.

            • DanM

              It appears I have made very few Disqus comments. I gave one guy fantasy hockey start/sit advice in the dailyfaceoff comments, apparently.

              • DDayLewis

                Being that we’re good friends, it’s weird we’re having this conversation on a public forum.

                I also like how you gave an elaborate response to an article entitled: “Private: Dudes Share The Red Flags They Use To Identify “Crazy” Girls”

                • DanM

                  I cringe to think of the number of people that have now seen that because of this comment trail. I remember seeing a link to that article on facebook and making the mistake of scrolling to the comments. Such misplaced and misdirected rage, I couldn’t understand it.

                • DDayLewis

                  I went to that article, found your comment and upvoted it.

                  If you’d like, I could delete this strange conversation.

          • DDayLewis

            Also, it’s easy to look up by clicking on your Disqus profile name.

  • StrikerAI

    I believe the Raptors have a great chance to bring KD here if they improve and remain a good Playoff team for the next 2 years. If Lowry decided to come back a day after Free Agency started, I’m sure Masai’s pitch to KD will be just as good. Also the Cavs won’t have enough cap space to sign KD, especially if Love goes there, I doubt KD will go to NY with Melo there, and L.A won’t be an option if they remain terrible, the Clippers can’t sign him either if they keep Griffin and CP3. Plus KD doesn’t look like the type to go into those big market, big spotlight cities like L.A and NY.

    • DDayLewis

      Cavs could easily open cap room by sign-and-trade.

  • Alex Vostrikov

    next time around, please write same regarding labron joining the raps in 2 years…. and while you are at it, add chris paul to the mix.
    I mean, its great to write something, and let others enjoy. but because of articles like this one, others starting all the rumors when, how, why and etc…..
    personally its great, if ANY one in their prime joins our team… Durant? LOL

    • DDayLewis

      Wut? Perhaps you missed the point of the piece? I’m not starting any rumors (and who would believe me? I have no sources)

  • BramptonCanadianProspects

    why isnt ramon sessions on anyones radar?

    • jjdynomite

      A PG who can’t shoot 3s is not a valuable asset in today’s NBA.

      Heck, a PF who can’t shoot 3s is a less valuable asset in today’s NBA.

  • Wongo

    For some reason, I kind of see Durant having a chance going to Washington (and I think they’re preparing for it). Letting Ariza walk, and signing Paul to a short term deal. Plus he’s from there…..

  • theonlysaneraptorsfan

    2016 is 2 seasons away. it’s impossible to know what’s going to happen. even meteorology produces results which are only accurate within 48 hours. Durantology? who has an advanced degree in that? is there some set of metrics by which one can predict the behaviour of a single person 2 years in advance? if not, then give it a rest.

    HOU blew up their roster in hopes of landing Carmelo Anthony & failed miserably. It’s like shaving/waxing all your pubic hair and waiting in bed for your GF/wife to come home only to discover that she’s brought your mom for a surprise visit.

    The Raptors didn’t pursue LBJ or CA so, if Masai Ujiri is still the GM @ the time; I don’t expect MLSE to be chasing Durant either.