Everybody in the league seems to want a piece of the Toronto Raptors’ best players, as the last year has been dominated by trade rumors surrounding names like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Rumblings suggesting the latter could be moved have been percolating for weeks on end.
The former’s market appears to have completely dried up, as he went from being a lock to be shipped away at the trade deadline to a core piece Masai Ujiri is unwilling to part ways with. Even though his offensive game lacks nuance, that level of high-end defense is hard to come by.
The Raptors could easily get a high-end young talent and multiple first-round picks if they decided to move Anunoby before the season, as it would also give Scottie Barnes even more offensive responsibility. The latest rumors, however, seem to suggest that he isn’t going anywhere.
Eric Koreen of The Athletic reported that the Raptors aren’t “seriously listening’ to any trade offers for Anunoby, citing the fact that he is young enough to fit in with the team’s current timeline and his ability to slot in well alongside many of Toronto’s big names.
NBA rumors: Toronto Raptors are not trading OG Anunoby
Rumors started to percolate through the NBA world last season, as Anunoby was reportedly dissatisfied with his role in the offense. Provided that those same issues do not come up once again, the Raptors could once again unleash one of the best two-way talents in the NBA.
Anunoby led the NBA in steals per game last season and was finally named to the All-Defensive team after years of being snubbed for reasons that are not fully understood. Anunoby averaged 16.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during the last two seasons under Nick Nurse.
Anunoby only has one year left on his contract, putting him in the same class as Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. While the Raptors likely won’t retain all of those players, Anunoby appears to be a significant priority for both of them. Ujiri’s fetish for versatile wings that can defend multiple positions won’t go away any time soon.
The Raptors may not have Fred VanVleet on the roster anymore, but their desire to keep Anunoby and their retention of names like Jakob Poeltl shows that Ujiri wants to win with this core. Come hell or high water, Anunoby will get a chance to prove himself.