OG Anunoby and the Toronto Raptors were very close to acquiring Damian Lillard in what would have been one of the most tectonic shifts in recent NBA history, but they ultimately saw their offer pushed to the side in favor of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jrue Holiday-led package.
This trade had some hurdles Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster needed to clear, specifically Lillard’s desire to play for teams that were not named the Miami Heat and which, if any, of their big names to part ways with. Ultimately, nothing came of this entire saga.
Lillard had the entire NBA world on pins and needles, and Anunoby used that to his advantage by creating a fake trade prank. Lillard appeared to have been genuinely spooked by the idea, which makes it even more hilarious.
Anunoby, who has trained with Lillard in past offseasons, sent him a text saying, “Welcome to Toronto.” In an apparent panic, Lillard called Anunoby, who did not respond. When he eventually managed to get a hold of OG, the Raptors forward burst out in laughter.
OG Anunoby pranked Damian Lillard with a fake Toronto Raptors trade
Anunoby was reportedly not on the table in Lillard talks despite the fact that he is on an expiring contract and one of the best two-way players in the game. In the alternate dimension where the Raptors actually made this deal happen without OG, Scottie Barnes, or Pascal Siakam going to Portland, they would instantly be a contender.
In reality, however, the Raptors faced longer odds than it appeared. On top of the fact that Portland was wise to turn down a trade package without any of Toronto’s three-best players, Lillard did not have them on a list of non-Heat teams he would accept a trade to.
Toronto must forge ahead with Anunoby, Siakam, and Gary Trent Jr. all on expiring contracts and a brand new head coach in Darko Rajakovic trying everything he can to show he can stick in the league. Lillard would have papered over many of the cracks in the foundation.
At least Anunoby has a good sense of humor about the whole thing. Even though it doesn’t look like help is on its way anytime soon, the famously stoic and deadpan Anunoby found time to get some jokes in about the whole Lillard fiasco with the man himself.