In the first major move of the 2023-24 NBA season, the Toronto Raptors have dealt OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second-round pick. Along with Anunoby, the Knicks will also receive Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn.
Here are some takeaways from this blockbuster trade.
Immanuel Quickley’s imminent rise
Perhaps the player who benefits most from this deal is Immanuel Quickley. The 24-year-old will now be the lead guard for a Raptors team lacking a reliable point guard. Scottie Barnes has been slotted in the position at times to take some of the pressure off of Dennis Schroder, who was recently brought off the bench.
Like former Kentucky teammate Tyrese Maxey, Quickley has shown flashes of taking that leap as the main point guard with some good performances with the Knicks. He is one of the best scoring options off the bench in the NBA, currently averaging 15 points per game in just 24 minutes. Now, Quickley will get to do it for Toronto and earn a big payday, as New York probably wasn't willing to pay him this offseason since he plays the same position as Jalen Brunson.
RJ Barrett’s homecoming
Another storyline to watch in this trade is RJ Barrett returning to play for his hometown.
Born and raised in Toronto, Barrett has been solid for the Knicks, averaging 18.1 points per game over his five-year career. The 6-foot-6 lefty is poised to bring his consistent play to the Raptors and contribute alongside Barnes.
Moreover, Barrett will finally get to play in his home country, where he once led Canada to a huge victory over heavy favorites USA in the FIBA U19 in 2017, contributing 38 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.
Will OG Anunoby re-sign with the Knicks?
On paper, the Knicks have a solid eight-man playoff rotation now, which could give the East some problems.
However, this might not be the year for New York to make a title run, as Mitchell Robinson has been ruled out for the season. And so the question remains: Will Anunoby stay with the Knicks after this season?
The 6-foot-7 wing will likely ask for around $40 million per year as reported, which seems like a lot for a player in his role. But then again, it's possible the Knicks knew what Anunoby would cost prior to making this deal and felt comfortable with it given that Anunoby is represented by CAA.
Precious Achiuwa’s value for the Knicks
With Robinson out for the season (and possibly the playoffs), backup big Isaiah Hartenstein is now starting for the squad. Taj Gibson, one of Tom Thibodeau’s former players, was signed to fill in and provide depth, but he's been underwhelming thus far.
Enter Precious Achiuwa.
Possibly an underrated pickup in this deal, the stretch big is another body that Thibs could use come playoff time. Achiuwa is a 6-foot-8, 225-pound center/forward who is physical and has a decent shot. He will add a different dimension to the Knicks’ bench as a floor spacer at the 5 position, depending on how he will be used on offense.