Grade the Trade: The Ringer sends OG Anunoby to Pacers in unusual 2-for-2 swap

Would the Raptors even consider making this move?
Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets
Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages

Even though the Toronto Raptors seem to be more likely to keep OG Anunoby in the long term than trade him away at the 2023-24 NBA Trade Deadline, Masai Ujiri will likely get his phone line blown up with potential trade offers for any teams who want a huge defensive and shooting upgrade.

The Indiana Pacers, who have also been interested in acquiring Pascal Siakam, could try to fix some of their defensive woes by making a run at Anunoby. The Pacers, seemingly by design, have one of the worst defenses in the entire league, and OG would represent a huge upgrade.

The Pacers have a superstar they can build around in Tyrese Haliburton, and they've surrounded him with role players like Myles Turner and Bennedict Mathurin. Anunoby is still a tier above both of those names, and the Pacers are likely well aware of that fact.

After a few years of being down in the dumps and acquiring assets, Rick Carlisle and Kevin Pritchard are finally ready to go big game hunting. If they take the advice of The Ringer's Michael Pina, they could grab Anunoby while selling off a big chunk of their future.

Grade the Trade: The Ringer sends Toronto Raptors SF OG Anunoby to Pacers.

OG Pacers

The big get in this trade is Walker, just a few months removed from being picked No. 8 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. Walker has barely played this season, and his offensive ceiling isn't too high, but Ujiri will never turn down a defense-first power forward with raw athletic ability.

Hield would be a perfect player to fix one of the Raptors' main issues in their painful lack of spacing. While there may not be a bigger defensive downgrade in the league on the wing than going from Anunoby to Hield, there's a school of thought that believes this is the right move.

Anunoby and Otto Porter would be two very switchable players that can improve Indiana's defense instantly. While their fast offensive pace will inherently mean they will surrender more points than most, adding OG will given them the on-ball excellence they need from their wings.

Trading Anunoby is clearly the less desirable of the two options when compared alongside a Siakam move, and much of the potential success of this trade hinges on Walker becoming a long-term building block. That makes this deal risky, but the potential to give the Raptors a much higher long-term ceiling is there.

Grade: B