6 trade destinations for Raptors forward OG Anunoby

OG Anunoby is one of the Raptors' biggest trading tokens before expiration.  (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
OG Anunoby is one of the Raptors’ biggest commercial chips before the deadline. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby may not be with the team for much longer if what NBA insider Shams Charania is reporting turns out to be true.

“The Raptors Are Answering Calls About OG Anunoby” The Athletic reporter said Tuesday on FanDuel TV. “There’s the Knicks, they’re willing to give up more first-round picks for him, but another team that has emerged in the last week or so is the Phoenix Suns.

“They have the resources — eight first-round draft picks at their disposal between now and 2030 — so they have the picks and they have players. They have guys like Cam Johnson, they have guys with expiring contracts like Dario Saric, Jae Crowder who can somehow fill your bench.

Anunoby’s name was also mentioned in another trade rumor Tuesday with HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reporting that the Memphis Grizzlies could make a run for the 25-year-old.

Despite Anunoby’s best efforts at blocking out the noise, there’s something about the old adage that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

And while there doesn’t seem to be anything imminent just yet, you can never say never. So, let’s take a look at how Anunoby would fit in with these three clubs and what they could offer the Raptors in return.

Memphis Grizzlies

Anunoby’s compatibility with the Grizzlies is obvious. The toughness and physicality he brings, especially on the defensive end, meshes well with Memphis’ rough-and-tumble identity and he will immediately slot in as one of the best 3-point shooters on the team.

Given the down year Dillon Brooks is having, Anunoby could fit right in as Memphis’ new starting small forward or, with Steven Adams still out, could even start at four, moving Jaren Jackson Jr. to center so Brandon Clarke can return to his usual energizing role off the bench.

Regardless of where he plays, Ja Morant will surely like to have another weapon to kick the ball with, particularly in the corner, while manager Taylor Jenkins will have no shortage of ways to use it defensively.

From the Raptors’ perspective, making a trade to the Grizzlies should start with trying to leverage one or maybe even two of the Grizzlies’ talented young players with dreams of being someone like Desmond Bane or Tyus Jones.

Acquiring either of those two seems more like a pipe dream, so settling on Ziaire Williams, who would be buried behind the likes of Anunoby and Brooks on the depth chart anyway, along with Danny Green’s contract seems like a more realistic start than a negotiation.

The other side of any trade deal with Memphis should involve at least two or three of the Grizzlies’ future first-round picks.

Memphis has all of its early players available, and given the likelihood that these are picks in the mid to late 2020s, Toronto should require quite a few, preferably without much protection.

The real prize in a deal with the Grizzlies would be getting a player like Williams, but if the Raptors are trading Anunoby that’s a sign they’re looking to downsize and rebuild, so having extra draft capital to help with that is never a bad thing. what.

New York Knicks

Like Memphis, Anunoby’s arrival in New York would fix a 3-point shooting problem the Knicks currently have and his natural defensive skills would make him an instant favorite with Tom Thibodeau.

There could be some struggles finding ways to fit him into the New York roster since he would likely take time away from RJ Barrett, who the Knicks recently committed to a long-term commitment at great cost. It also makes no sense for Anunoby to play behind Julius Randle.

Unless Thibodeau is really comfortable playing small with Anunoby high fives or he’s OK with having Quentin Grimes off the bench, there could be some problems getting Anunoby in. And as a business partner, making an attractive offer for Toronto also seems difficult for New York.

Sure, New York has top picks from Detroit, Washington, and Dallas to offer this year, but they’re all protected like crazy, which means their actual value is relatively low.

Other than that, New York’s first round picks don’t seem to be that valuable right now as they look like a playoff team and young chunks that the Knicks have, there really isn’t a stand out guy that would make it attainable as well as Grimes or Obi Toppin, which aren’t exactly the most enticing bits to replace Anunoby with.

Phoenix Suns

Anunoby’s arrival in Phoenix would fill a hole the Suns currently have in their starting lineup with Torrey Craig and Johnson currently slotting in as one of the starting forwards.

With Crowder refusing to play until traded, Anunoby seems like a logical replacement that will likely feel like an upgrade.

Phoenix is ​​a good well balanced team and Anunoby’s skills would only enhance what he can already do well.

As a touchdown, Anunoby could certainly do worse than playing a surefire Hall of Famer in Chris Paul, and the combination of him and Mikal Bridges could form one of the most devastating perimeter defensive duos in the game today.

Looking at what Toronto could get in return, the expiring contracts of players like Crowder, Saric and Johnson look really enticing as they would allow the Raptors to free up some rooftop space and give someone a free agency run, but that could be a mistake because this isn’t exactly a world-beating class of free agent. Acquiring a good player like Johnson, who is just entering his prime, might not be a bad idea as the Raptors could lock him up as a key piece of their future.

However, doing business with the Suns means picks will have to be involved and while it’s true that Phoenix has all of its first and second players available, you have to wonder how valuable those picks will be. As long as the Suns have Devin Booker on their roster, their championship window will remain open, so more first-round picks on their end aren’t exactly the most appealing proposition.

Anunoby is among the best defensive players in the NBA, capable of defending all five positions, and is among the best shooters in the world from corners, with 44.4% of his looks from those points this season.

These two traits make him a perfect match for nearly every basketball team on the planet. That said, there are some circumstances that would work better than others for both Anunoby and the Raptors.

The Mavericks he would be a fantastic pick for Anunoby, as surrounding Luka Doncic with more shooting and defense is never a bad thing. The picks returning from Dallas would be nothing to write home about, but getting someone like up-and-coming third-year guard Josh Green and Christian Wood’s expiring contract could be attractive.

Another team that could be a logical choice is the Track blazer. There was a lot of reported interest from Portland surrounding last year’s draft, and a revisit of a transaction centered around Canadian rookie Shaedon Sharpe and perhaps someone like Josh Hart could be intriguing.

One last notable team is the Thunder. Sam Presti has amassed a war spoil amounting to 19 additional first and second round picks between now and the 2028 draft. He won’t be using all those picks to draft players and given the superstar breakthrough Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is taking, coupled with the Thunder being in the right mix for the play-in tournament and more, why not cash in on some of those chips and try to do a real number of things by actually upgrading the roster?

Anunoby would immediately improve the Thunder and they have plenty of intriguing young players – like Aleksej Pokusevski – to go with the many picks they could throw in a trade.

Essentially, Anunoby can work with any team in the league. This is significant leverage that the Raptors cannot pass up.

More from Yahoo Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *