6 trade destinations for Raptors forward OG Anunoby

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OG Anunoby is one of the Raptors’ biggest trading chips heading into the deadline. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

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

“The Raptors are getting calls from OG Anunoby,” the athletic the reporter said Tuesday on FanDuel TV. “There’s the Knicks, they’re willing to give up multiple first-round picks for him, but another team that came up last week is the Phoenix Suns.

“They have the assets, eight first-round draft picks at their disposal from now through 2030, so they have the picks and the players. They’ve got guys like Cam Johnson, they’ve got expiring contracts like Dario Saric, Jae Crowder that can replenish your bank.”

Anunoby’s name was also mentioned in a different 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 to block out the noise, there’s something to the old adage that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

And while nothing seems imminent 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 fit with the Grizzlies is obvious. The toughness and physicality that he brings, especially on the defensive end, pair well with Memphis’ tough identity and he would immediately rank as one of the best 3-point shooters on the team.

Given the bad year Dillon Brooks is having, Anunoby could possibly fit right in as Memphis’ new starting forward or, with Steven Adams still out, he could even start in the four, moving Jaren Jackson Jr. to center for Brandon Clarke. can return to his usual dynamic role from the bench.

Regardless of where he plays, Ja Morant is sure to enjoy having another weapon he can kick the ball to, particularly on the corner, while head coach Taylor Jenkins will have no shortage of ways to use him on the defensive end.

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

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

The other side of any trade negotiation with Memphis would have to involve at least two or three of the Grizzlies’ future first-round picks.

Memphis has all of its first-rounders at its disposal, and given the odds they’re going to be mid-to-late-20s picks, Toronto should demand plenty of them, preferably without a lot of protections.

The real prize in a trade with the Grizzlies would be signing a player like Williams, but if the Raptors trade Anunoby, it’s a sign they’re looking to downscale and rebuild, so having additional draft capital to help with that will never it’s a problem. bad thing.

The New York Knicks

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

There could be some difficulty finding ways to fit him into New York’s roster, as it would likely take time away from RJ Barrett, who the Knicks recently committed to long-term at a high price. It also doesn’t make sense for Anunoby to play behind Julius Randle.

Unless Thibodeau is really comfortable playing small with Anunoby at five or is okay with Quentin Grimes coming off the bench, there could be some trouble fitting Anunoby in. And as a trading partner, making an attractive offer for Toronto seems difficult for New York as well.

Sure, New York has the first-round picks of Detroit, Washington, and Dallas to offer this year, but they’re all protected like crazy, which means their true 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 of the young pieces that the Knicks have, there isn’t really a guy that stands out that would be attainable besides. from Grimes or Obi Toppin, who aren’t exactly the most attractive pieces to replace Anunoby.

phoenix suns

Anunoby’s arrival in Phoenix would close a hole the Suns currently have in their starting lineup with Torrey Craig and Johnson 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 abilities would only enhance what it can already do well.

As a landing spot, Anunoby could certainly do worse than play a surefire Hall of Famer in Chris Paul, and the combination of him and Mikal Bridges could make for one of the most devastating perimeter defensive duos in the game today.

Looking at what Toronto could receive in return, the expiring contracts of players like Crowder, Saric and Johnson look attractive as they would allow the Raptors to clear salary cap space and pursue someone in free agency, but that could be a fallacy because this isn’t exactly a world-beating free agent class. Acquiring a good player like Johnson, who is just entering his prime, may not be a bad idea, as the Raptors could secure him as a centerpiece of their future.

Still, doing business with the Suns means the picks will have to be involved and while it’s true that Phoenix has all of its first and second available, you have to wonder how valuable these picks will be. As long as the Suns have Devin Booker on their roster, their championship window will remain open, so multiple first-round picks from them isn’t exactly the most attractive proposition.

Anunoby is among the best defenders in the NBA, capable of protecting all five positions, and is among the best shooters in the world from the corners, connecting on 44.4 percent of his shots from those spots this season.

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

He Mavericks It would be fantastic for Anunoby, as surrounding Luka Doncic with more shooting and defense is never a bad thing. Returning picks from Dallas wouldn’t be anything to write home about, but getting someone like promising third-year guard Josh Green and Christian Wood’s expiring contract could be interesting.

Another team that could logically fit is the Trail Blazers. There was a lot of interest reported from Portland surrounding last year’s draft and review of a trade centering on Canadian rookie Shaedon Sharpe and maybe someone like Josh Hart could be intriguing.

One last piece of equipment worth mentioning is the Thunder. Sam Presti has amassed a war chest to the tune of 19 additional first- and second-round picks between now and the 2028 drafts. He’s not going to use all of those picks to draft players and given the superstar turn Shai Gilgeous is taking- Alexander, coupled with the fact that the Thunder are right in the mix for the gate tournament and more, why not cash something? of those tabs and try to make a real run of things by updating the list?

Anunoby would instantly improve the Thunder and they have plenty of intriguing young players, like Aleksej Pokusevski, to go along with the many picks they could include in a trade.

Essentially, Anunoby can work with any team in the league. That’s a significant influence the Raptors can’t give up.

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