The Toronto Raptors might not have a traditional rim-protecting center on the roster at the moment, but that doesn’t negate the fact that their OG Anunoby-led collection of versatile forwards helped key their turnaround from also-ran to legitimate contender with championship aspirations.
While Anunoby once again missed large chunks of the season due to some injuries, he once again proved to be one of the most perpetually underrated players in the league. With 17.1 points per game and elite defense, any team looking to acquire a win-now wing with offensive upside will give Toronto calls on Anunoby.
The Cleveland Cavaliers should be one such team. With Evan Mobley establishing himself as a quality center and the need to surround their star backcourt led by Darius Garland with more offense, Anunoby could be on their radar. A trade involving Anunoby and All-Star center Jarrett Allen may be in the cards.
Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report suggested a reasonably simple one-for-one swap with Cleveland in which Anunoby heads to northeast Ohio and Allen gets sent north of the border. As unusual as this trade might sound off the cuff, there is a universe in which the Raptors pull this deal off.
Could the Toronto Raptors trade OG Anunoby for Jarrett Allen?
This trade would see Allen team with Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes in the frontcourt. With Barnes expected to gradually become a more significant part of the offense with each passing year, getting someone that is low usage and can be counted on to do the dirty work like Allen could be a way to avoid stepping on Scottie’s toes.
Allen averaged 16.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game with Cleveland this season, making an All-Star team in the process. Fans clamoring for a quality center that could move into the starting lineup and solidify the paint need to be aware of the fact that this could come at a cost.
Allen is already locked up long-term, and he’d be a way to fix the team’s biggest issue for the next half-decade. While Toronto would loose a shooter, the idea of putting Siakam back at the power forward spot and leaning into the Barnes experience on the perimeter could have some appeal.
Cleveland, meanwhile, could form a quality Big 3 with Garland at point, Anunoby on the wing, and Mobley in the paint.
It’s perfectly reasonable to be of the mindset that Anunoby is a player who simply can’t be traded this offseason. However, if a team is dangling an All-Star talent at a position of need right in front of Masai Ujiri, he might need to pull the trigger on this trade.