The Toronto Raptors appeared to survive another offseason with persistent OG Anunoby trade rumors, but it appears as though a fresh crop of intrigue has slammed into Toronto’s proverbial windshield. This time, a division rival could be eying OG’s services.
Anunoby, who averaged 17.4 points per game last season, is still being discussed as a trade target. With the Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes starting to heat up, teams like the New York Knicks are beginning to see if Anunoby could be a viable backup plan if Mitchell doesn’t work out.
While Mitchell and the Knicks appear to be on a crash course, one bag negotiation session could torpedo the whole thing. If Mitchell doesn’t come to New York, Leon Rose may decide to set his sights on a player like Anunoby to boost the Knicks’ playoff chances.
According to Knicks beat writer Fred Katz of The Athletic, there have been rumors floating around about New York’s interest in Anunoby. Katz said that one of the main roadblocks to a trade, from New York’s perspective, is giving up tons of assets for a player who won’t make them a championship contender.
The Toronto Raptors shouldn’t trade OG Anunoby to the Knicks.
Anunoby may have had some injury woes that helped him miss a big chunk of time in the last few seasons, but the fact that he remains one of the best defenders in the Eastern Conference and an improved scorer should speak volumes about his talent.
The Anunoby trade rumors are nothing new. Portland was reportedly all in on OG before the NBA Draft, but a rumored deal involving the No. 7 pick never materialized. With Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Gary Trent Jr. all in need of new contracts in the next few years, many are anticipating Anunoby will be dealt to fund these moves.
Doing that would require the Raptors, a playoff team, giving up on a starter who fits in perfectly from a schematic point of view with what Nick Nurse wants to do. If he grabs a bigger role in the offense, which Nurse has challenged him to seize, Anunoby might challenge for just under 20 points per game this season.
The Raptors would be the picture of irresponsibility and foolishness if they traded Anunoby to a division foe for a collection of players that will not provide a convincing facsimile of OG’s skillset. The Knicks can dream all they want, but OG isn’t coming to the Garden unless they make a stupefyingly short-sighted trade with tons of assets.