Regrading all 4 Raptors Trade Deadline deals after final details are revealed

The Toronto Raptors made four trades during last season to reshape the entire roster. With final details now revealed, how should we grade the trades?
O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors and Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards
O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors and Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Trade No. 1: OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks

The Trade: OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks for Immanuel Quickley, R.J. Barrett and a 2024 second-round pick (DET)

Tension built for some time between the on-court realities of the Toronto Raptors and the front office’s inaction. It was obvious that, despite the individual talent of each member of the Raptors’ core, their fit together was not good enough to contend in the Eastern Conference, especially not after Fred VanVleet left in free agency.

The tension finally released on December 30th of last year when the Raptors and New York Knicks agreed to a trade that sent OG Anunoby to the Big Apple. What was initially shocking about the deal was that it did not include a single first-round pick; instead, the Raptors built their trade return around two players, point guard Immanuel Quickley and wing R.J. Barrett.

For the Knicks, Anunoby fit like a glove, and when he was healthy and on the court the Knicks looked like a legitimate threat to the Boston Celtics. Healthy is a key factor, as he missed large swaths of time, including most of the Knicks’ playoff run. Anunoby then hit unrestricted free agency, and with multiple other teams lining up to pay for his elite 3-and-D services, the Knicks were forced to pay him a five-year, $213 million deal, a truly gargantuan sum for a non-star. 

3 Buy-low trade targets no longer wanted by their own teams. dark. Next. 3 Buy-low trade targets no longer wanted by their own teams

Malachi Flynn was tossed into a subsequent deal with the Detroit Pistons and did not receive a qualifying offer this summer, so he is free to sign with another team as a fifth guard. The fate of Precious Achiuwa is yet to be determined, but it’s very likely the Knicks re-sign the young big man as center depth after losing Isaiah Hartenstein. 

From Toronto’s side, Immanuel Quickley played extremely well after the deal, increasing his volume while maintaining his shooting efficiency, a sign of a budding star. At the same time, he wasn’t dropping 30 points per game either, yet he was still able to leverage his way to a five-year, $175 million contract, in and of itself a massive contract for a player who spent 3.5 years as a backup. 

R.J. Barrett played the best basketball of his career after arriving in Toronto, and he turned his contract from a potential albatross to an entirely fair deal. Therein lies the rub, however; with Barrett making $27.5 million per season and Quickley averaging $35 million per year over the next five seasons, the Raptors traded Anunoby and committed to an expensive young core. There was real opportunity cost in bringing back Barrett and Quickley rather than expiring money and draft picks from another team.

The Detroit pick landed 31st overall, the best it could possible be, and the Raptors drafted forward Jonathan Mogbo and signed him to a four-year contract. How he develops will only further add clarity to this trade return. 

If Quickley develops into an All-Star level player, this deal is a clear and unequivocal win for the Raptors. Given what Anunoby signed for to return to the Knicks, it was untenable for Toronto to keep him and they likely would have lost him in free agency. The unknown of other trade returns is hard to evaluate, and it’s possible that Quickley’s contract does not age well, but right now this looks like a positive result for the Raptors.

Grade: B+