Raptors Rumors: Latest report opens up the perfect offseason plan for Toronto

The Toronto Raptors traded forward OG Anunoby this past season, but the latest reporting suggests he may be available to sign this summer.
OG Anunoby, New York Knicks
OG Anunoby, New York Knicks / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors have to be feeling good about the trade they made with the New York Knicks this past season. They gave up a longtime franchise stalwart in OG Anunoby, but in return they got a pair of young players in Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett who played very well for Toronto and look like building blocks for the Raptors long-term.

The reason that the Knicks were willing to give up two good young players is that they were not only trading for Anunoby, but they were set up to sign him long-term. OG's agent is the son of Knicks President Leon Rose, so everyone expected the Knicks had already worked out terms on a new contract for this summer.

Recent reporting, however, suggests otherwise.

OG Anunoby could leave the New York Knicks

The incredibly-connected Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported this past week that a new deal between the Knicks and Anunoby is not a done deal, and that it is likely other teams with significant cap space would have the chance to meet with Anunoby once free agency begins.

That would be a colossal disaster for the Knicks if it happens, as they would have traded away Quickley and Barrett for only an injury-riddled few months of Anunoby's services. That leverage is likely to push the Knicks to pay through the nose at the negotiating table. Perhaps the reporting is only that, a ploy to get more money from the Knicks.

If it's real, however, other teams will have the opportunity to get into a bidding war for Anunoby's services. Teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder could wade into the fray and offer Anunoby a new home and a large contract.

In fact, any team that can clear the requisite cap space could be a part of those free agency discussions. What if there was a team that had history with Anunoby and a clear spot for him in their lineup?

Could the Toronto Raptors sign OG Anunoby?

This would be the wildest move that could happen this summer.

It would take work, but the Raptors could clear the space necessary to offer Anunoby a significant contract north of $35 million per season. They would need to hope that he felt positively toward the franchise after his time there, as they wouldn't win any tiebreakers for contending right away, but it's at least in the realm of possibility.

Additionally, the Raptors signing OG Anunoby would be allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A team that trades away a player may not sign back that player during the same league year, but once the calendar turns over that restriction is wiped away. Starting July 1, the Raptors could sign back OG Anunoby (or Pascal Siakam, Dennis Schroder or Precious Achiuwa).

The Raptors could start Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby alongside one another in the frontcourt, giving them plenty of size and defensive punch, with Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett filling out the backcourt. Anunoby is a good enough shooter to open the court for Barnes, and the Raptors wouldn't still be trying to shoehorn in Pascal Siakam into the mix, opening up space for everyone to operate.

The odds of such a wild signing happening are quite low; the most likely team to sign Anunoby is New York, and from there teams like Philly and OKC are better bets than the Raptors. If there is even an inkling of a chance, however, the Raptors should do their due diligence to feel that out.

If Toronto could have its cake and eat it too, getting value for OG Anunoby in a trade and then getting back Anunoby himself, it would be one of the great coups in NBA history. Twisting the knife on the insanely petty Knicks owner James Dolan in the process would just be icing on that cake.

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