The Toronto Raptors‘ fanbase was absolutely inundated with OG Anunoby trade rumors over the last few weeks, with the Portland Trail Blazers being consistently mentioned as a landing spot in this deal. Even after trading for Jerami Grant, Portland remained in on the Anunoby sweepstakes.
With Portland armed with the No. 7 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and in possession of young players like Josh Hart and Nassir Little, the rumor mill has constantly been churning out suggestions that an Anunoby move is imminent. Raptors fans have been plugging their ears at the first sound of any trade buzz.
Portland tried as hard as possible to get Toronto to bite on a package centered around one of those youngsters and this top pick. Rather than entice Masai Ujiri, the Blazers were forced to use the selection. They took a native Canadian with tones of bounce.
The Trail Blazers used the No. 7 overall pick in the draft on Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe, who was a highly-touted prospect despite skipping college. Anunoby can rest easy knowing that he is going to stay in Toronto and once again compete for a playoff spot in the East.
The Toronto Raptors didn’t trade OG Anunoby in the NBA Draft.
Anunoby is fresh off averaging 17.1 points per game despite some limited opportunity alongside an All-Star in Fred VanVleet and an All-NBA talent in Pascal Siakam. With elite defense, Anunoby remains one of the most economical contracts in the Eastern Conference today.
Anunoby might seem like someone who could be forced out of some shots in Toronto thanks to the emergence of Scottie Barnes, but the Raptors didn’t seem so frustrated with the fit to the point where they would deal him to the Blazers. One of the most realistic suitors for Anunoby has officially bit the dust.
Sharpe is a top-shelf athlete who could eventually develop into a player as good as Anunoby if nurtured correctly. With Toronto apparently uninterested in taking on a project at the expense of a player who could be a contributor right away, Scottie Barnes can rest easy.
Sharpe will be a fantastic fit in Portland (and he could have been excellent in Toronto), but it looks like he’ll be consigned to starting his NBA future in the Pacific Northwest while the Raptors manage to hold on to their ascending talent. The trade rumors are not dead yet, but you can check Portland off of the list.