What’s the fate of the 6ft 7in, 240-pound Toronto Raptor forward, O.G. Anunoby?
Anunoby has been with the Raptors since 2017 and his capabilities and confidence on the court have grown considerably in the past 5 – 6 years.
As we turn into the second half of the 2022/23 NBA season, it’s clear to see how much of an impact he’s having per game.
This season alone he’s racked up almost 37 minutes on the court, collected just over 18 points, nearly 6 Rebounds and 2 assists and over 2 steals per game.
It’s very encouraging and it shows him pulling his weight with some of the big guns in the squad like Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes.
But will he stay with Raptors?
While his skill with Raptors has been moulded, the circumstances with the team in the current season, does mean he can become an asset to trade in the upcoming NBA trade deadline in February.
Anunoby’s salary is projected to rise to almost $20M in the 2024/25 season. Combine his salary and his growing skill and the Raptors do have the makings for a serious return.
That could mean a whole bunch of new talent to choose from which helps the team rebuild.
If he’s traded, where could he land?
Should Nurse decide to ship out Anunoby to the Grizzlies, the best draft picks they could seek would be Dillon Brooks and Ziaire Williams.
The reasons why Nurse wouldn’t do it would be that both players would be a gamble. The second part of the season is critical for the Raptors to bounce back and Brooks and Williams’ effectiveness would be hard to predict.
New York Knicks
This could be an interesting one for Raptors. They could chase after two picks that Utah Jazz had ultimately turned down, Evan Fournier and Miles McBride.
Fournier would bring a lot of experience to the team but his performance with the New York Knicks this season hasn’t been his best.
Currently he’s collected 6.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Last season, he was performing far better with 14.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Likewise, Miles McBride is a relative youngster with the Knicks. He’s managing 4.1 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist per the 15 minutes he gets on the court. He has a lot to prove still.
The question still remains… will the Knicks be willing to trade these youngsters to Raptors?
Here is a much more beneficial trade for the Raptors; Josh Green & Christian Wood.
Green currently has three seasons with the Mavericks under his belt and his stats have increased gradually from 4.1 points per game to 7. There’s also marginal improvement in his rebounds and assists during his 20 minutes of game time.
He’ll be useful in the three-pointer shooter role but overall, he has a long way to go.
Wood also has some very impressive numbers this season, when you compare them with Anunoby’s performance. Of his 28 minutes on court, he’s managed 18 points, 8 rebounds and a rebound per game.
He’s got the potential to be a great option for Raptors but the risk is that he could be a Free-Agent in Summer.
The Phoenix Suns have options which Raptors could also entertain.
While Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson offer a lot of versatility given their performance in the Regular and Playoffs with the Suns, they probably won’t be at the level Raptors need them.
Take Crowder for example. He manages just over 9 points a game, with his rebound play making up for most of his value (5.2) so far.
Johnson has some encouraging stats too and they’re an improvement on last season’s already amazing performance. The thing is, we’ve only seen him play 8 times. He’s still recovering from a knee injury.
What do you think?
So those are some possible options should the Toronto Raptors decide to ship out Anunoby during the trade deadline.
Are we looking at the right Raptor to trade? Is there another team Anunoby should go be traded to in that eventuality?