NBA rumors: Raptors’ OG Anunoby targeted by hated rival in trade talks

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 19: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 19: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors may be considering some big trades with a bit more vigor than they were in the offseason, as the situation on the court is slowly shifting toward being untenable. If that happens, OG Anunoby might need to start looking for new apartments.

While Anunoby’s defense has been excellent this season, as Darko Rajakovic’s system doesn’t have him switching as much as Nick Nurse’s did. His shooting has been streaky, but all signs point to him eventually getting this ironed out and becoming a well-above-average performer in this area. No wonder everyone is after him.

The Philadelphia 76ers have had their eye on Anunoby for quite some time, and the recent trade of James Harden gave them more tradeable assets. If they want Anunoby, Daryl Morey has more than enough chips to get Masai Ujiri interested in consummating something.

According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, the 76ers could be on the verge of such a deal. Mannix claims that both Anunoby and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine are on Philly’s radar as they try to build a winner around Joel Embiid to compete with the Bucks and Celtics.

NBA rumors: Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby targeted by 76ers

The Nick Nurse connection is obvious, as it was under Nurse that Anunoby started to reach his full potential as a defender and shooter under his watch. No matter who the coach is, Philly could use a player who can defend all five positions, like Ben Simmons, without being the same offensive headache.

While the 76ers have more draft picks than most contenders in their position, they lack in premium picks that would likely entice a team like Toronto to deal Anunoby away. Still, with one year left on his contract and a slew of big deals to be handed out in the offseason, Toronto could be trapped.

De’Anthony Melton and KJ Martin stand out as two players who could come back to Toronto in any potential Anunoby swap, as they could provide immediate value without being so expensive (Tobias Harris) that it eats into the Raptors’ financial flexibility. Multiple picks could also be coming Ujiri’s way.

Losing Anunoby would be tough, and losing him to the 76ers would be a gut punch. However, with the windfall of the Harden trade, Philly might be motivated to make more of a concerted effort to get better this season and assert themselves as a team who can compete with Boston and Milwaukee.