The Toronto Raptors may have refused to unload OG Anunoby in an offseason trade, but that doesn’t mean that the rumors surrounding him are going to dissipate completely. Teams like the Memphis Grizzlies will assuredly be after him amid whispers he has asked out of Toronto.
Fans may groan at headlines that say Toronto turned down three first-round picks, but there is a good chance they are only telling half of the story. Perhaps those picks were either heavily protected or way too far in the future to interest a Raptors organization that wants to win in 2023.
Toronto could also hold out on trading Anunoby until they get a young player on a controllable contract that could fill the same role. If the Raptors play their cards right, they could swing a pretty fantastic deal with Memphis that sets both sides up for success.
Bleacher Report, in trying to predict win-win trades that could go down this offseason, sent Anunoby to the Grizzlies in exchange for draft capital, a new backup point guard with years of experience, and a toolsy young prospect who could end up becoming a rotation player.
This Raptors-Grizzlies trade sends OG Anunoby to Memphis for Ziaire Williams.
The Raptors would be added two firsts and a pick that Toronto initially traded for Marc Gasol. With the Grizzlies in possession of most of their original picks and a plethora of other choices, they have the leverage needed to wheel and deal in order to acquire some stars.
While Williams, who was picked No. 10 overall in the 2021 draft, has been up and down between the G League and the NBA thanks to Memphis’ depth and his own shortcomings as a shooter, the athletic wing is another long forward that Masai Ujiri will love developing. The rim-running and defensive potential Williams has are indisputable.
In the last two seasons, Jones has averaged 9.1 points and 4.5 assists per game as Ja Morant’s chief backup. In a perfect world, Jones could slide right into the rotation and give either Fred VanVleet or whoever replaces him a traditional backup with tremendous passing instincts and improved offense.
While the Raptors may not be presented with a trade that will allow them to recoup three first-round picks, this allows them to get two firsts in addition to a veteran at a position of need and a good young wing that could be developed. Memphis wants OG badly, and this trade might be enough to acquire him.