An uncommon firestorm was ignited around the Toronto Raptors during the late stages of the 2022 offseason. Trade rumors started to whirl around this team, as one of their long-time starters in O.G. Anunoby was reportedly not happy with how he was being utilized.
Anunoby, who averaged 17.1 points per game last season, reportedly was frustrated with his role in the offense after being relegated to the fourth or fifth scoring option when everyone was healthy. In this context, Anunoby asking for a more significant role may have gained traction if it was real.
Coach Nick Nurse said that he is willing to give O.G. a bigger spot on the team if he can prove that he is worthy of that added responsibility. Anunoby took a more diplomatic approach, saying that the reports linking him to such a boisterous demand are totally inaccurate.
Anunoby said that he was initially surprised when reports of his dissatisfaction came out, saying that he never voiced any of the concerns that had been reported. Considering how laidback and stonefaced O.G. can be, it seems odd that he would be so demonstrative in demanding the ball.
Toronto Raptors: O.G. Anunoby is ready to get back on track.
While Anunoby has his best season yet in terms of points per game, he couldn’t necessarily call 2021-22 too successful for him personally due to how much time he missed. For the second year in a row, injuries have forced Anunoby to miss big chunks of the season.
While rival teams would pay top dollar for a two-way standout with an affordable contract, the Raptors did everything they could to keep him in town. That speaks to the kind of value they believe he has despite adding Scottie Barnes and giving him such a great deal of responsibility.
One way Anunoby can improve his offensive output in 2022-23 is to get his 3-point shooting back in order, as it took a slight downward turn when compared to his prior two seasons. If he can execute that goal, there’s no reason as to why an 18-point-per-game season can’t come to fruition.
Anunoby has been disrespected by the media several times over and earned his perpetually underrated status as a result. However, the Raptors may be the best situation for him in the league from a style perspective. Anunoby demanding a move away sounded odd off the cuff, and it apparently wasn’t based in tons of facts.