Report: Durant told Raptors reps in 2014 he wasn't coming to Toronto
The idea of the most coveted NBA free agent in six years signing with the Toronto Raptors this summer always seemed like something of a long shot, and apparently Kevin Durant may have made up his mind against the option as far back as 2014. The unrestricted-free-agent-to-be told Raptors' intermediaries two years ago that he wasn't coming to the team, according to the Toronto Star's Bruce Arthur.
Despite its popularity as a road destination among NBAers, Toronto has never been a player in the league's big-time free-agency market. However, different stories - varying in significance - over the last few years have created a sliver of hope among some that Durant would at least entertain a move north of the border.
Tim Leiweke, the former CEO of MLSE (the conglomerate that owns the Raptors), had "kept the PR campaign going (for Durant) as long as he could," according to Arthur. Fans may also see a link between that and some of Drake's comments about the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar, one of which reportedly earned the Raptors a $25,000 tampering fine from the league in 2014.
As many as a dozen teams could pursue Durant in free agency. However, conventional wisdom seems to be leaning on the side of the 2014 NBA MVP returning to the Thunder, even on a short-term deal to maximize income from the rising salary cap.