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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Raptors positioning themselves for run at Kevin Durant with latest hire?

Kevin Durant dribbles

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors may be leaving behind a trail of bread crumbs pointing to their offseason plans.

Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reported on Thursday that NBA player development coach Rico Hines has left the Sacramento Kings to take a job with the Toronto Raptors. Hines had posted a farewell to the Kings on Instagram as well as a picture of some Raptors gear.

The 44-year-old Hines is a very well-respected assistant who also previously worked for the Golden State Warriors. But the Raptors bringing him aboard is especially interesting because of Hines’ connection to Kevin Durant, who is seeking a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant has often taken part in Hines’ famed summer scrimmages at UCLA. While a number of other NBA stars have joined in those runs as well, the ex-MVP Durant is one of the more frequent participants and has even gotten in some individual work with Hines over the years.

After going 48-34 last year, the Raptors are armed with a golden cupboard of young assets for a potential run at Durant, and their fans sound pretty encouraged about the team’s chances too. The hiring of Hines should be another feather in Toronto’s cap as they attempt to lure the four-time scoring champion Durant.

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