As the Chicago Bulls enter an offseason full of questions, the most important one will be whether or not they can re-sign Zach LaVine. But outside of that, their biggest question mark revolves around their ability to improve the roster without any cap space at their disposal.
The 2022 NBA Draft will be one opportunity for them to do that, but since they only have the 18th pick, their best bet will be the trade market. In turn, they will have to figure out what available pieces around the league they are willing to pursue.
Well, according to an anonymous Eastern Conference GM who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, one of those players should be Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby.
“They have veterans, they can’t do too much player development. I think there are a handful of players they might consider trading [Patrick] Williams for—it won’t be easy, they are attached to him—and one of them would be (OG) Anunoby in Toronto. They need two-way players, guys who can defend and knock down shots. He can be very, very good at both of those things,” the GM stated.
This past season, Anunoby averaged 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on 44.3% shooting from the field and 36.3% shooting from behind the three-point line.
Anunoby is 24 years old, and according to recent sources, he’s grown frustrated with his role in Toronto.
Anunoby Growing ‘Dissatisfied With Role on Raptors
On May 31, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported that Anunoby has been emerging as a potential trade candidate this summer because his role in Toronto has diminished due to Scottie Barnes’ impressive rookie campaign.
“As the NBA offseason continues for all teams outside of Golden State and Boston, one of the more intriguing names to emerge in early league trade chatter has been Toronto Raptors swingman OG Anunoby,” Fischer reported. “Following a standout season from Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, word has circulated among rival front offices that Anunoby grew dissatisfied at times with his role in Toronto, where Barnes joined Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet as the primary ball-handlers in Nick Nurse’s offense.”
Despite this, Fischer also noted that Anunoby has yet to express his frustrations to the Raptors front office, thus making his availability in trades unknown.
“Two sources with knowledge of the dynamic told B/R that Anunoby has not directly expressed discontent with his situation with the Raptors. Perhaps the conversation around him has been driven more by external interest in acquiring the fifth-year forward’s services,” Fischer wrote.
That being said, the anonymous GM proposed a deal that could intrigue the Raptors enough to make a move.
Proposed Anonoby-to-Bulls Trade
The GM expressed that the Bulls are very attached to Williams, but putting him in a deal could entice the Raptors, who have seemingly become obsessed with long wings that can defend well.
“Now, would Toronto want to have both Patrick Williams and Scottie Barnes? They really like Barnes. You’d have two long, very good defensive forwards there. If you put Coby White in the deal, so Williams and White for Anunoby, it could help both teams,” the GM explained.
Adding a young, defensive-minded wing who can make life easier on Chicago’s stars would put them in a better position to compete. And while Williams may be able to play that role for them in the future, Anunoby is the more polished product right now.