Knicks’ Prized Trade Acquisition Is ‘Right on Schedule’ to Return: Insider

Knicks stars Jalen Brunson and OG Anunoby

Getty Jalen Brunson #11 celebrates with OG Anunoby #8 of the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks‘ prized trade acquisition OG Anunoby is on track to return next month, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“I’m told he is right on schedule,” Wojnarowski said on the “NBA Countdown” before the Knicks-Boston Celtics game on Saturday, February 24. There have not been any setbacks. They’ll re-evaluate him at the end of next week, and then the hope is he starts to get back on the court then.”

The Knicks roared to a 12-2 record after acquiring Anunoby from Toronto before the calendar flipped to 2024. Anunoby’s sizzling start in his Knicks career was derailed by an elbow injury.

After undergoing successful surgery to remove a loose bone fragment from his right elbow which the team announced on February 8, Anunoby was beaming with excitement to return and go on another run with the Knicks.

“Yeah, for sure [I’ll be back before the playoffs], hopefully,” Anunoby told reporters via SNY on February 20. “Just following the doctors’ orders, following the medical staff, just progressing day by day. I’m feeling better and better every day. So, yeah. I want to be back as soon as possible.

I’m definitely excited to get back. I think the whole team is excited to play together again and go on another run.”

Anunoby averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals in his first 14 games with the Knicks.

His plus-252 mark in his first 14 games with the Knicks is the most since play-by-play was first tracked in 1996-1997, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Julius Randle’s Concerning Situation

While there’s clarity to Anunoby’s injury recovery, the same cannot be said for Julius Randle‘s situation.

“There’s more concern this season about not just getting him back, but how effective can he be playing with that injured right shoulder?” Wojnarowski reported on “NBA Countdown.”

Last season, Randle went through a similar situation where he pushed himself to return and delayed an ankle surgery to the offseason.

The result was a poor version of Randle in the playoffs, far from the All-Star form he had during the regular season.

But the Knicks still reached the second round, pushing eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat to six games despite Randle shooting just 41.1% from the field and a horrendous 28.1% from deep.

The Knicks, however, are more equipped this time with their other trade acquisitions — Precious Achiuwa and Bojan Bogdanovic.

Knicks Fill out Roster With Familiar Faces

Instead of bringing in new players who are not guaranteed to get playing time, the Knicks opted to sign familiar faces.

They brought back DaQuan Jeffries and converted Jacob Toppin’s two-way contract into a 10-day deal, the team announced on Thursday, February 22, to reach the league minimum of 14 players on standard NBA contracts.

Jeffries replaces veteran Taj Gibson, whose second 10-day contract expired earlier this week.

The Knicks have one roster open left and a two-way slot open after converting Toppin’s contract into a 10-day deal. Charlie Brown Jr. and Duane Washington Jr. are the other two players on a two-way contract. The last day to fill the open two-way spot is on March 4.

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