Toronto Raptors star OG Anunoby found himself thrown straight into the rumor mill over the last few days. Jake Fischer reported that rival executives believe the versatile two-way wing is unhappy with his role. A trade is unlikely, but Masai Ujiri is likely to at least listen to potential packages.
Fischer listed the Trail Blazers and Jazz as town teams who would be expressly interested in his services, but teams like the New Orleans Pelicans could try to pry Anunoby away from Ujiri. The Pelicans could use another star to build around Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and CJ McCollum.
The Pelicans have plenty of assets if they want to go for broke and bring in Anunoby. Unfortunately, as evidenced in a proposed trade, not everyone seems to be interested in giving the Raptors an adequate trade package in exchange for one of the game’s best wings.
Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale proposed a trade that sends Anunoby to Louisiana in exchange for 2021 first-round pick Trey Murphy III, veteran rim-runner Larry Nance Jr, and the No. 8 overall pick in the draft. Even the biggest Pelicans fans have to admit that Toronto is getting the short end of the stick here.
The Toronto Raptors shouldn’t trade OG Anunoby to the Pelicans.
In a vacuum, both Nance and Murphy are solid assets. A versatile forward, Nance averaged 7.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Murphy averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while making 38% of his 3-pointers. That No. 8 pick could be used on a player like Dyson Daniels.
The collection of assets is still a paltry return for Anunoby. Nance is an expiring contract who has not been a double-digit per game scorer for years. Murphy was nothing more than a 3-point specialist as a rookie who was thoroughly outclassed by second-rounder Herb Jones.
Fischer has divulged that Toronto is asking for more than a first-round pick and a promising young rookie contract. Nance doesn’t move the needle, and Murphy’s rookie year didn’t exactly help establish him as a no-doubt starter. Ujiri will need a ton more than that to trade away Anunoby.
Anunoby could very well be dealt in the offseason, but Ujiri is not going to trade him for the sake of trading him. New Orleans could become a genuine force in the Western Conference if they acquire Anunoby, but that front office will need to give up plenty of extra assets for Ujiri even to pick up the phone.