Knicks Linked to Rising 2-Way Wing Ahead of Trade Deadline: Insider

OG Anunoby Fred VanVleet

Getty Toronto Raptors stars OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet talk during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

With the NBA‘s February 9 trade deadline less than two weeks away, the New York Knicks bear the distinct look of a club that needs more. More shooting, more help off the bench and — as is always a point of emphasis with Tom Thibodeau-led clubs — more defense.

Make no mistake, the team has made significant progress this season with new floor general Jalen Brunson leading the charge and Julius Randle rediscovering his All-Star form. But coming off a bad loss to a shorthanded Brooklyn Nets squad (which dropped the team’s record to 27-24 on the campaign), the gap between New York and the Eastern Conference’s top teams is as obvious as it has been all season.

As such, it should come as no surprise that team president Leon Rose is probing the trade market for potential upgrades. To that end, The Athletic‘s Shams Charania just dropped some intel on New York’s pursuit of one of the Association’s rising two-way stars.

Namely, Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby.

The Athletic: NY Knicks Still Willing to Part With Draft Assets in OG Anunoby Trade

Just last week, SportsNet New York‘s Ian Begley reported that the Knicks had “checked in” with Toronto on Anunoby. Not only that — his sources indicated that Rose and Co. were “comfortable offering multiple first-round picks” for the 2019 NBA champion, which says a lot about their opinion of the baller.

Flash forward to now and Charania has reaffirmed the Knicks’ interest in bringing the 25-year-old to the Big Apple. Moreover, the league insider indicated that digging into the draft coffers in an effort to secure Anunoby’s services remains very much on the table.

However, the Knicks figure to have some competition in prying Anunoby from the Raptors’ clutches. Wrote Charania:

“The Knicks and Suns are among the interested suitors in Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby, sources say. New York has shown a willingness to offer multiple first-round picks for Anunoby, according to those sources. The Suns, meanwhile, have control of all of their first-round picks — eight in total —through 2030.”

Raptors Could Become Big-Time Sellers at the Trade Deadline

Although Toronto overachieved last season — compiling a 48-34 record and finishing in the top five of the East standings — things have gone south in a big, bad way here in 2022-23. And the sudden, downward shift has occurred despite the fact that all of the same talented, young pieces remain in place from a year ago.

Amid their changing circumstances, the rumblings have grown louder by the day that the Raptors could throw in the towel ahead of the deadline and pivot toward some level of rebuilding.

While the jury is still out on whether or not it will happen, Charania is reporting that the team will likely pick a lane ahead of the deadline.

“Because of the Raptors’ disappointing season thus far… rival teams have been informed that the franchise will make a decision about being a buyer or seller – or standing pat – near deadline day, according to league sources,” wrote Charania.

Just because they may be willing to make moves with their core pieces, though, doesn’t mean they’ll be giving anything away.

“The Raptors surely have high price tags on their core pieces, such as VanVleet and Anunoby.”

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