All season long, Toronto Raptors rising star OG Anunoby has been the player most often linked as being a realistic trade target for the New York Knicks at this year’s deadline.
And while there have been an unfathomable amount of hypothetical proposals concocted over the last few months that are geared toward bringing the 25-year-old to the Big Apple, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes to have come up with the ideal trade scenario that “should get it done” for the franchise.
The proposed deal reads as follows:
New York Knicks receive:
- OG Anunoby
Toronto Raptors receive:
- Evan Fournier
- Obi Toppin
- Two first-round picks
Just last week, Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star reported that a “mystery team” had offered the Raptors three first-round picks in an offer for Anunoby.
Though no club in specific has been outed as being the one to have done so, Michael Grange of Sportsnet reported on February 1 that the Knicks are “prepared to offer” said amount for his services.
However, Buckley believes that Leon Rose and company may be able to execute a trade for the wing without sacrificing three firsts, and, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Toronto may be prioritizing young players over picks anyway, thus making this proposal quite plausible.
“ESPN’s Brian Windhorst discussed the team during Thursday’s episode of Get Up and said, ‘there’s a feel in the league that maybe they wouldn’t be looking for draft picks. They may be looking for young players, already guys in the league to put around the core that they have around Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes,'” per Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report.
Dating back to the early stages of this year’s campaign there has been an underlying fear that third-year big man Obi Toppin could wind up being offloaded before the expiration of his rookie-scale contract and, as the season has progressed, rumblings have suggested that the Knicks are open to moving on from him, with one executive informing Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that they have already engaged in trade talks involving the 24-year-old.
Because of this, coupled with their obvious desire to move on from Evan Fournier’s contract, it could be argued that Buckley’s proposal may be one of the most plausible packages this franchise could piece together should they pursue Anunoby.
Anunoby’s Fit With Knicks in Question
While there are many like Buckley who believes OG Anunoby is a player worth “offering up anything in their asset collection” for, others may not be so high on the idea of seeing the wing landing with the Knicks.
At least, Knicks Film School’s Jonathan Macri doesn’t seem to be, as he, along with guest and staff writer for The Athletic Fred Katz, questioned the wing’s fit in New York during a January 31 episode of the KFS podcast.
“I don’t see Anunoby making a ton of sense, like, basically in the (Quentin) Grimes spot in the starting lineup. I don’t know, I think there’s a possibility that the team might play worse with that particular construction. It feels clunky, you’re losing your best point-of-attack defender because OG Anunoby is a bigger guy. Yea, I don’t know,” Macri said.
Katz would follow up Macri’s analysis by ultimately agreeing that Anunoby’s game doesn’t seem to complement the Knicks as currently constructed.
“Yeah, I mean I also think I would be concerned about the spacing. You’re taking your best shooter out of the starting lineup and you’re putting in Anunoby who’s like a 36% 3-point shooter…but teams really help off of him and the Knicks’ ball movement is not as good as the Raptors’ and, by the way, like, the Raptors put him in the corner but the Raptors are not some sort of all-world, half-court offense because of it. Like teams freely help off of him.
“Like, he’s shooting 36%. That’s solid, but it’s on 36% on a lot of open looks because teams would rather just, like, slice in on (Pascal) Siakam in the lane…and they’ll live with him taking those shots. And the other side of it is…he’s a really phenomenal defender and he’s a much better defender than Grimes, so I don’t worry. That doesn’t concern me. But the reason that you would want OG Anunoby is because he’s so versatile…I don’t think the Knicks would run with his versatility. I just don’t think the fit is great,” Katz said.
Doug Smith of The Toronto Star has reported that Anunoby will sit out for the remainder of Toronto’s seven-game road trip as he continues to nurse a sprained left wrist. The earliest the wing can suit up is in a February 8 home game against the San Antonio Spurs, just one day before the league’s deadline.
Knicks ‘Widely Expected’ to Trade Forward
Though there may be an enormous amount of speculation regarding who the Knicks could look to trade for at this year’s deadline, when it comes to who they could wind up trading away, SNY’s NBA Insider Ian Begley believes the answer is rather clear.
“The Knicks are widely expected to trade Reddish prior to the Feb. 9 deadline,” Begley reported on February 1. “Reddish’s side expects him to be traded by the deadline and has no interest in the Duke product continuing to collect DNPs after the deadline if he is not traded.”
A former lottery-selected talent still attached to his rookie scale contract, Reddish has not seen any semblance of in-game action since December 3 and has posted mere averages of 8.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.0 assists through 20 games played this season.
Since rumors surfaced stating he was available on the block, several teams have expressed interest in possibly pursuing a trade for the 23-year-old at or around the deadline.