SI’s Raptors-Thunder OG Anunoby trade is odd for both teams

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 have been linked to names like Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell in the last few months, which has reignited trade rumors surrounding stud wing OG Anunoby. Good enough to highlight a hefty trade package but not good enough to a Pascal Siakam-esque immovable rock, Anunoby is a popular rumor mill name.

Not only would he be an excellent piece for any contender looking to get sharper on the defensive end, but a young team looking to break through and make a postseason run could give him a featured role. Toronto may not be selling, but OG would have plenty of suitors if they were.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have a surplus of picks that could easily be flipped over to the Raptors in exchange for Anunoby, even if it means upsetting their young core centered around Chet Holmgren. Some Thunder writers appear to have the wrong idea with regards to OG’s asking price.

Sports Illustrated proposed a mock trade in which the Thunder acquire Anunoby in exchange for three first-round picks and role players like Derrick Favors, Darius Bazley, and Tre Mann. Not only does this trade make Toronto much worse in the short term, but it could be an incongruous fit for the Thunder.

This Toronto Raptors/OG Anunoby trade is odd for both teams.

This is not to say OKC’s trade offer features bad players. Favors could help this team, Bazley is a phenomenal young talent, and Mann has potential as a high-end backup. All the picks would be nice. However, this is a move that would be made if the Raptors decided to start rebuilding.

The only possible universe in which Anunoby gets moved is as a package headliner for a star several tiers above him, like Durant or Mitchell. Adding Favors and Bazley to a frontcourt getting more crowded by the day comes off as an extra risky move from OKC.

As for Oklahoma City, they have a nice core of players like Holmgren and their 1-2 backcourt punch of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. However, going all-in on OG still won’t make them a playoff team in the West. One more season with the current bunch is needed before they should pivot to becoming a playoff contender.

Anunoby may be a golden goose for the army of GMs trying to add a potential All-Star on a cheap contract, but Toronto isn’t going to sell unless they find an offer that is so ridiculous they would be foolish to say no. OKC and Toronto are better off leaving this trade alone.

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