The Toronto Raptors may have picked up an impressive comeback win against the San Antonio Spurs, but the trade rumors surrounding impending free agents like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam will continue to populate the proverbial airwaves until the deadline passes.
While Siakam could be on the move if Toronto believes he is unable to adapt to a secondary role behind Scottie Barnes, teams around the NBA will be begging to add an elite shooter with award-winning defensive skills in Anunoby despite his contract situation.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the worst teams in the league to start the season, though they are widely expected to get back on track once Ja Morant returns from his suspension. If they want to give their squad a major shot in the arm, talking about an Anunoby trade may need to be rekindled.
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that Memphis could be so aggressive in their pursuit of Anunoby that Toronto could end up with a windfall of multiple first-round picks. Would Masai Ujiri be willing to finally get a deal done with Memphis if they offer up multiple unprotected firsts?
Grade the Trade: Proposal sends Toronto Raptors SF OG Anunoby to Grizzlies
The haul of players the Raptors are getting isn’t very impressive, even for a team that needs a completely new bench. Williams is playing well, but LaRavia hasn’t necessarily played up to what was expected of him, and Clarke hasn’t been able to replicate his earlier performances due to horrible injuries.
The only reason Ujiri should consider this deal is the fact Toronto could get a trio of first-round picks for a player on an expiring contract. That 2024 pick could be a lottery pick due to Memphis’ slow start, and it seems unlikely a team with Morant in his prime will end up in the top three.
This trade would essentially knee-cap the Raptors’ chances of competing this season, but it would give them a few interesting young players and an inordinate number of draft picks for someone who is not guaranteed to be on the roster next season.
Trading Anunoby instead of Siakam might be a puzzling move to some, and ending up with Williams as the most intriguing player in the return would be a tough sell for this fanbase. However, giving up two unprotected picks and a third with minimal protections would be a haul that Ujiri would find it very difficult to pass up.