Three Toronto Raptors who could take home awards next summer

Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

OG Anunoby – Most Improved Player (also a dark horse for DPOY)

Could it be that the Toronto Raptors’ roster is responsible for two MIP candidates next summer?

We are all aware of the struggles OG Anunoby has dealt with early on in his NBA career, but he appears to have put said struggles aside this year and is playing like a seasoned veteran, oozing confidence, especially from beyond the arc. Anunoby has shot 50-percent from three this season. Teams can no longer dare him to shoot because the stoic wingman has shown the ability to consistently make open (even contested) shots.

Along with an improved three-point shot, Anunoby has been far more effective inside the arc, shooting 55-percent from the field, up from last season’s mark of 45-percent. If one dives deeper into the realm of advanced metrics, they will see that Anunoby leads the Raptors in BPM and is second in VORP.

A brief consultation of the numbers will paint Anunoby as a very valuable member of this season’s Raptors squad, now if the team could just find a comfortable pair of goggles for him to wear…

As long as he continues to play an inside-out game, Anunoby’s production should continue trending in the right direction. This season, his average field-goal has come from 12 feet, two feet closer than a year ago. He’s taking fewer threes, but Anunoby is making more. A classic case of less is more, I guess.

When Kawhi Leonard was traded to Toronto, Anunoby was thought of as the one player that would benefit the most from Leonard’s presence. Anunoby could take after Leonard from a routine and work ethic standpoint, seeing what exactly goes into being one of the NBA’s most feared two-way players. So far, the lessons Anunoby learned over that one-year span have been on full display this season, and it could result in him taking home some hardware next summer.