OG Anunoby trade denials show what Raptors actually desire in talks

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 04: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 04: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

It seems like every team in the league wants a piece of what the Toronto Raptors have right now. While Pascal Siakam is the hot name on the trade ticket, and recent reports have suggested that trade talks surrounding him are ongoing, the Raptors were just a few months removed from a time when trading away OG Anunoby seemed inevitable.

Also a free agent at the end of this season, Anunoby remains a valuable trade chip if Toronto is unwilling to sign him to a four-year extension worth as much as $117 million. Teams have tried to snatch him up in the past, but trade discussions have not resulted in any movement.

Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed that Toronto was offered packages that included multiple first-round picks for Anunoby, but he made it known that the “upside value of many of the first-round picks offered is believed to have been low.” This confirmed what Masai Ujiri’s mindset and preferences are in these trade talks.

In both Siakam and Anunoby talks, Ujiri wants unprotected first-round picks that are as close to the lottery as can be. Even if other teams are offering a convincing haul of picks and players for one of those two, they won’t take a single step closer to completing a deal unless they part with their more prized assets.

The Toronto Raptors want draft picks for OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam.

The Raptors had a very convincing offer sent to them by Atlanta in Siakam talks. De’Andre Hunter is a tremendous win-now rotation player, and AJ Griffin has All-Star upside. While Charania confirmed that draft compensation was discussed for Siakam, it was unclear what was actually offered.

With Atlanta having surrendered multiple firsts to acquire Dejounte Murray, they might not have as many tradeable assets at their disposal for Siakam. Reports claimed that both the Grizzlies and Pacers were in on Anunoby, but they weren’t willing to give Ujiri the picks he desired.

The Raptors will face challenges when it comes to landing free agents, so the best way for them to restock their bench and find players who could develop into their next Siakam is to get a haul of picks and convert them into prized long-term developmental assets.

If a team like Atlanta or Memphis is unwilling to meet Toronto’s asking price for one of their star players, Ujiri seems to be more than willing to refuse their offers of a trade and go into the season with his current loadout.

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