OG Anunoby must be considered off-limits in Raptors trade talks

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors‘ quest to escape the play-in tournament has become even more improbable when you consider that a large portion of their games have come without OG Anunoby in the lineup. After missing 30 games due to injury, the Raptors’ two-way maestro is back in the fold.

Anunoby is averaging 17.4 points per game while once again remaining an elite defender in every sense of the word. With Gary Trent Jr. mired in a slump at the moment, Anunoby’s 3-point marksmanship is an invaluable weapon when it comes to spreading the floor.

This offseason will be incredibly important for this franchise, as figuring out how to make that next step to the contender tier will determine how successful this team can be over the next decade. The idea of making a huge move for a potential starting center might appeal to some, but Toronto need to be very careful about who they trade away.

If the Raptors are going to consider making a huge trade, Anunoby can’t be included in the deal. Given how he’s having his best individual season this year and his seamless fit on this roster, the Raptors may commit subtraction by addition if they swap him out for someone with more gravitas around the league.


The Toronto Raptors need to hold on to OG Anunoby.

While Masai Ujiri is not above giving away star players in exchange for a true difference-maker, the fact that teams are asking for Anunoby in exchange for players like Myles Turner shows that the Raptors will struggle to get a package of equal value in return. Turner is really good! Just not good enough to warrant ditching Anunoby!

Toronto might have a ton of players with similar skillsets, but all that’s done is make their unique roster construction even more cohesive. The Raptors are eyeing a top-six seed, yet are 14-16 without Anunoby in the lineup. A skillset like this is nearly impossible to replicate, as Toronto has proven in their 30 games without him.

Essentially, trading for a star and including Anunoby would be Ujiri bringing on a player that will diminish the roles of ROY contender Scottie Barnes and an All-NBA level performer in Pascal Siakam while giving up an All-Defensive Team defender signed long-term on an economical contract. In what world does that make sense?

Anunoby has been one of the most underrated players in the league for some time now, and that status has only grown amid Toronto’s rise back to playoff contention. There’s a multitude of ways for Ujiri and the Raptors to improve without dangling Anunoby’s name in the rumor mill.

Next. 5 trade scenarios Raptors must prepare for. dark