2. Publically rebuke Portland’s interest
Of all of the teams who have been linked to an Anunoby trade, the Blazers have been arguably the most ubiquitous name that keeps getting thrown around. Damian Lillard has reportedly tasked Portland with securing a star or near-star like Anunoby or Suns stud Deandre Ayton.
The Blazers’ package for Anunoby would start with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. That sounds more attractive than it is. Looking at the list of players drafted No. 7 overall, it becomes clear that it might be challenging to find someone who will be as good or better than Anunoby.
The Blazers want to steal OG Anunoby.
Players like Nassir Little and Josh Hart could come to Toronto in the swap, but that doesn’t make up for the value lost by dealing Anunoby. Adding Anfernee Simons could be interesting, but it’s unlikely Portland will be willing to give up a player of his caliber.
The Raptors can shut all of the trade rumors down in one fell swoop if they come right out and admit that Anunoby is not going to go anywhere. The Blazers won’t give up the required assets anyway, and doing so could show Anunoby that they are committed to winning with him.