Rising Two-Way Star Linked to Heat as a Possible Trade Target: Exec

Pascal Siakam OG Anunoby Raptors

Getty OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors react to a made basket during a game against the LA Clippers.

The Miami Heat are just days removed from their Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals and, already, fans and pundits alike are trying to guess at what Pat Riley’s next move will be.

Whether the Heat president opts for incremental roster improvements or something more substantial, he definitely has work to do if the club wants to get back to the NBA Finals next season. However, there has been significant noise that Riley could make a play for another star to team with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

So far, Bradley Beal and Donovan Mitchell have been the ballers most mentioned as possible All-Star acquisitions. And it stands to reason, too — Miami’s ho-hum offense would definitely level up with another dynamic scorer/perimeter playmaker in the mix.

However, one league executive can also see a scenario in which the Heat instead take a stab at a rising star from an East rival. Namely, Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby.

A Match Made in Hoops Heaven?

In speaking with Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney, the Eastern Conference exec namechecked Anunoby as a player who could flourish in the vaunted #HeatCulture.

“He is [head coach Erik Spoelstra’s] kind of player,” the exec said. “They do not like one-way players there and that is why you see some frustrations with [Tyler] Herro and even more frustration with [Duncan] Robinson. If you put OG in a lineup and you keep [PJ] Tucker, and you have Butler, [Kyle] Lowry, Adebayo — what a tough group.”

The 24-year-old Anunoby is fresh off a campaign during which he averaged a career-high 17.1 points per contest. He was also good for 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals on a nightly basis, while knocking down 36.3% of his three-point field goal attempts.

Going beyond the counting stats, though, he boasts incredible versatility on both sides of the ball, in addition to having what may just be the ideal body for the modern NBA at 6-foot-7 and 232 pounds with a 7-foot-2 wingspan.

“He can play three positions, he can guard five positions, he can shoot the three,” the exec said. “The Raptors really wanted to build around him but they’re not so sure now.”

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Getting Him to South Beach Could Be Difficult

With the Heat’s cap and roster situations being what they are, their road to making any major deal is more treacherous than it is for some of the other teams in the Association. Herro’s down playoffs and Robinson’s down year probably have an effect on that as well.

As ever, it takes two to tango, and Riley may have his work cut out for him in getting Raptors president Masai Ujiri to the proverbial dance floor. Nevertheless, the East exec can envision the framework for a potential deal.

“The Raptors are not giving him away, Masai is a tough deal-maker. You’d need Robinson in there to make the money work though I don’t know that Toronto wants him. They could flip him elsewhere. But they would have to have Herro and [Omer] Yurtseven for sure,” the exec said. “The Heat would have to take back Khem Birch to make the money work and to give the Raptors a little extra incentive, get off his contract.

“Even still, that might not be enough for the Raptors.”


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