NBA rumors: Raptors turned down first-round picks from Knicks in OG Anunoby trade

The Raptors wanted players over first-round picks.

Toronto Raptors Media Day
Toronto Raptors Media Day / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors' long-term outlook changed in a major way almost immediately after the OG Anunoby trade with the New York Knicks, as two new starters came to town in the form of starting point guard Immanuel Quickley and former top pick wing RJ Barrett.

Masai Ujiri was thought to have been waiting for the motherload to fall into his lap, as getting a big haul of draft capital could have given Toronto a robust long-term outlook. Instead, Ujiri saw two players who could instantly help Toronto's offense take flight, and he didn't hesitate to pull the trigger.

Knowing that it would be a waste to throw the best years of Scottie Barnes' career to the wolves with a collection of tomato cans alongside him, Ujiri has put an emphasis on acquiring top young talent in an attempt to make sure the Raptors can keep winning. The Knicks were made well aware of this philosophical stance.

According to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times in a piece primarily examining Dejounte Murray's value, the Raptors reportedly turned down a package of Barrett and some extra first-round draft choices in favor of the deal that featured Quickley. This may inform Toronto's decision-making in the Siakam trade sweepstakes.

Toronto Raptors wanted Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett over draft picks.

It's always nice to stockpile picks, but Ujiri clearly wants players that can assert themselves as secondary and tertiary playmakers next to Scottie Barnes. Both Quickley and Barrett are 24 years old or younger, giving the Raptors tangible young players instead of lottery tickets.

Siakam is being offered around the league, as teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers have registered varying degrees of interest in him. With the Anunoby trade having shown Ujiri's previously exorbitant price points can be met, anyone trading with Toronto needs to cough up some established players.

While the Pacers have some picks to offer, and the Mavericks might be willing to send whatever remaining capital is not tied down in the NBA Draft over to the Raptors, Ujiri is not going to press send on a deal unless he gets a player who will be a lock in the team's 2024 rotation.

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