OG Anunoby has been flying under the radar among common NBA fans
for years now, but everyone around the league knows how valuable
his player archetype is nowadays. With the ability to play elite
defense, fit into multiple positions, create his own scoring
chances and hit catch-and-shoot opportunities, Anunoby is the ideal
modern wing teams are looking for to upgrade their roster.
It's no wonder why Anunoby recently popped up in trade rumors,
because his skill set would attract a robust market canvassing the
entire league. The question is, would Toronto actually entertain
moving Anunoby? According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, this
situation is worth monitoring
Two years remain on Anunoby’s deal with a player option attached
as well, so an extension is soon on the horizon for the former
Indiana Hoosier. With the quick emergence of Scottie Barnes, which
culminated in a Rookie of the Year campaign, the wing rotation is a
little more crowded for the Raptors.
However, for a team like the Raptors, it’s in their identity to
fit and develop players like Anunoby and Barnes. All-Star Pascal
Siakam is the shiniest example of how transformative the
franchise’s player-development program truly is.
What’s interesting about this situation is the fact that the
Raptors have been poking around on some of the top prospects in the
2022 NBA Draft. Remember, the earliest Toronto picks in this year’s
draft is No. 33 overall atop the second round.
Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin, a likely top-10 selection, met
with Toronto at the NBA Draft Combine. G League Ignite standout
Dyson Daniels, currently slotted No. 6 overall to the Indiana
Pacers in BasketballNews.com's latest mock draft, also has been in contact with the
Raptors’ front office.
Where there’s smoke, there's usually fire. If the Raptors are
seriously considering an aggressive move up the draft board, moving
Anunoby would easily get them there. Even outside of the draft,
Anunoby could be the key piece in a superstar-type trade for
Toronto — this offseason or beyond.
Let’s go ahead and further explore Anunoby’s potential
destinations if the Raptors decide to shop him.
Portland continues to be involved in countless trade rumors
leading up to the draft, mainly because the urgency surrounding
their timeline with superstar point guard Damian Lillard. The time
to win is right now for the Blazers, and Lillard has already shown
on multiple occasions that he’s frustrated by the lack of
If the Blazers want to swing for the fences this summer to
appease Lillard, it’s actually possible with two big moves. They
have the cap space to make a trade for OG Anunoby and then sign
Zach LaVine in free agency. Portland could put themselves back into
the playoff picture by adding LaVine and Anunoby, and they'd be
able to keep Anfernee Simons (who is a restricted free agent) and
Jerami Grant has been the main name focused around
Portland-related trade discussions, but Anunoby is actually a
better overall fit next to Lillard. Thanks to his versatility and
still untapped scoring potential, Anunoby could truly flourish in
his next stop.
Raptors receive: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gay
Jazz receive: OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Malachi Flynn, No.
33 pick, 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), 2026 first-round pick
Huge changes are on the horizon in Utah, especially after two
bombshells dropped on Sunday revolving around Quin Snyder and
Donovan Michell. First, Snyder resigned as the Jazz’s head coach
after eight seasons. Only a few hours later, ESPN’s Adrian
Wojnarowski reported that Mitchell is “unnerved” with Utah’s
For multiple years now, there’s been smoke percolating around
the discontent between Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. It feels destined
one or both is off Utah’s roster this offseason. And honestly,
Toronto is a strong trading partner for either Mitchell or Gobert.
In this scenario, we’re rolling with Mitchell thanks to Sunday’s
Toronto officially moves all-in around a championship core
consisting of Mitchell, Siakam, Fred VanVleet and 2021-22 NBA
Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. The Raptors would have a
fearsome lineup with a lot of potential, vaulting themselves into
the Eastern Conference’s elite tier.
The Jazz still end up with a solid haul, which includes two
immediate starters in Anunoby and Trent. Who knows, Anunoby and
Trent could both thrive in a new system like Utah’s — especially if
Gobert is still around.
Raptors receive: Deandre Ayton, Torrey Craig
Suns receive: OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn
Trail Blazers receive: Khem Birch, future second-round picks
via Toronto and Phoenix
Base-year compensation is the new buzz word being thrown around
in Phoenix. How the Suns handle Deandre Ayton’s upcoming
restricted free agency will tell us how exactly they plan to
fix or dissolve their relationship. After an ugly ending in the
postseason, will Phoenix feel inclined to run it back with Ayton
while also handing over a max contract in the process?
Serious questions loom around Ayton’s long-term future in
Phoenix, and the Raptors’ need for a center seems to be obvious.
Would a Suns-Raptors trade involving Ayton turn into a win-win
scenario? Personally, I think so because of how both teams would
look after an Ayton-Anunoby swap. For salary purposes, Toronto
sends Birch to Portland, who receives two future second-round picks
for playing its part in the deal.
Anunoby in the Suns’ system is such an intriguing thought. He
would slide right into Jae Crowder's starting power forward spot
and be an upgrade. Mikal Bridges alongside Anunoby is an incredible
defensive combination to envision for Phoenix too.
If the Suns and Ayton are indeed heading for a divorce, Toronto
could become the ideal trade partner.
Raptors receive: Darius Bazley, No. 12 pick, No. 30 pick,
2023 first-round pick via Denver, 2024 first-round pick (top-five
Thunder receive: OG Anunoby
At some point, the Thunder need to consolidate their endless
amounts of future first-round picks. Projected to have three
first-round picks each year from 2022-2026, the rebuild attempt
ongoing in Oklahoma City is bordering on historic. Thunder general
manager Sam Presti has taken an incredibly forward-thinking
approach with this core, and the progress is beginning to show
along the way.
Adding a piece like Anunoby into the Thunder’s rebuild would be
an excellent transaction, especially when you consider his fit
alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. Able to play any
role in the Thunder’s frontcourt, Anunoby could be utilized as a
two-way chess piece.
It’s going to take a lot for the Raptors to trade Anunoby, and
that's if they are even interested at this early stage of their
offseason. The Thunder are one of the rare teams who could provide
Toronto with ample amounts of return on an Anunoby deal. Sending
out four (!!) first-round picks in this deal, it still doesn’t
impact Oklahoma City’s war chests of assets that much.
For the Raptors, they would now be projected to have multiple
first-round picks over the next three years. Instantly, Toronto
becomes a top team to watch out trading for a disgruntled superstar
down the line, potenially with Utah for Mitchell or Gobert. Giving
away a player like Anunoby would be tough, but OKC at least offers
significant draft capital in return for the underrated two-way
Who knows if the Raptors actually decide to pull the trigger on
trading him, but expect to see plenty of teams calling over the
next few months to inquire.
Whether it be using Anunoby to bring back future flexibility and
draft capital or a star-level player, the possibilities become
endless for a splashy trade involving Toronto.
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