The Toronto Raptors have been mired in trade rumors for the last few months, with Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby at the front of these talks. It seemed impossible to imagine a future in which both Anunoby and Siakam ended up on the Raptors past this season.
The New York Knicks needed to make a big splash, as they appear to have hit a wall with their current core of Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. Masai Ujiri seemed to sense this, and he uncorked a wild trade that has shaken the very foundations of the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors traded Anunoby to the Knicks, ending a nearly seven-season tenure with the club, Precious Achiuwa, widely regarded as one of Ujiri's pet projects, was also included in a trade to the division rival. Doug Smith is reporting that Malachi Flynn is also in the deal. The haul Masai Ujiri got back was nothing short of spectacular.
The Raptors acquired RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round pick. Considering that Anunoby is going to be a free agent at the end of the year, acquiring a scorer like Barrett and a point guard like Quickley is a massive victory for this organization.
Toronto Raptors trade OG Anunoby to Knicks for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley
Anunoby is averaging 15.1 points per game while making 37% of his 3-pointers while playing insane defense once again. For a defense-first team like the Knicks, Anunoby is going to fit in perfectly as they try to turn this team into a contender once again.
Barrett has averaged 18.1 points per game in his five seasons with the Knicks, and he is right around that average this season. A native Canadian, Barrett is coming home and assuming the role of long-term tertiary scorer next to Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam.
Quickley, a player Knicks fans have been screaming about for the last few weeks as his playing time hasn't increased, is averaging a robust 15.0 points per game in just 24 minutes per game. Quickley could become a new starting point guard that gives Toronto much more firepower.
Losing Anunoby is a tough situation, especially when he is going to a division rival in the Knicks. However, getting two standout scorers like this for a player who is going to be a free agent and two inconsequential bench pieces is another example of great trade negotiating by Ujiri and the Raptors.