Knicks Predicted to be ‘Mystery Team’ in Running for $72 Million Wing

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks looks on from the bench during the game against the Dallas Mavericks.

The New York Knicks have been reported as being one of the most active teams on the trade market this season and, with this, many are under the impression that they could opt to take a big swing at some of the more glorified talents rumored to be available for the taking.

What said swing could wind up looking like is anyone’s guess at this point, though some are of the belief that Leon Rose and company may have already taken their first crack at a noteworthy transaction, as Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star reported on January 23rd that one team offered three first-round picks to the Raptors for OG Anunoby and, though the specific club remains anonymous, many were quick to suggest on social media that the Knickerbockers were involved.

“Knicks written all over it lol,” wrote one user.

Someone else seemingly believes that New York is the team to have offered such a package, tweeting “”Mystery Team” it’s the Knicks.”

Considering the Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder have the most lucrative collection of draft capital at this point in time, another person predicted that it was “Probably the Knicks or Thunder.”

The notion that the Knicks could be the “mystery team” should not be at all surprising, as they have been linked to Anunoby since mid-December when SNY’s Ian Begley reported that “someone from the club reached out to the Raptors” inquiring about the wing.

Anunoby Perceived as Great Fit for Knicks

Since Begley’s report, fans and media pundits alike have seemingly been infatuated with the idea of OG Anunoby joining the New York Knicks.

One Eastern Conference executive even told Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that they believe shelling out an offer to Toronto that included promising players like Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley could be worth it for the franchise.

“The strategy has not changed, obviously—the goal is to collect picks and flip them into a deal that brings back a star, a big-time wing player. If Toronto wanted to move off OG Anunoby to make way for Scottie Barnes, the Knicks would be in line for him, you know, with Quickley and Toppin and Fournier plus picks,” the exec told Deveney.

Soon after these remarks by the anonymous executive were made, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report took things a step further by stating that the Knicks should be willing to offer the Raptors “just about anything” to acquire Anunoby.

“Picks, prospects and expiring salaries would all be on the board, and with good reason: Anunoby projects as either a two-way star or at least a two-way player who can star in his role,” Buckley wrote.

“Get him to New York, and he’d immediately be the team’s top defender and one of its better offensive options. Coach Tom Thibodeau would give Anunoby all the minutes he could handle in hopes of elevating this defense. The offense, meanwhile, could have plenty of options depending on which of Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett would still be around after the deal.”

Currently in his sixth season in the association, Anunoby finds himself posting stellar career-best averages virtually all across the board with 17.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and a whopping 2.1 steals per game on 45.9% shooting from the floor and 36.4% shooting from deep.

A true two-way player with particularly exceptional instincts on the less glamorous side of the ball, the former first-round pick could prove to be a seamless fit within head coach Tom Thibodeau’s system and, considering his still rather youthful age of 25, one could make the argument that this budding stud could wind up blooming into a legitimate star as he moves forward through his career.

With all this in mind, perhaps the concept of exchanging three first-round picks for his services may not be all that far fetched of an idea for the Knicks to consider.

Knicks May Have Interest in Raptors Guard

OG Anunoby isn’t the only member of the Toronto Raptors that the Knicks have been linked to this season, as Brett Siegel of FanNation’s Fastbreak reported on January 9th that New York has shown interest in pursuing 24-year-old guard Gary Trent Jr..

“Both the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns are two teams that have a level of internal interest in Trent ahead of the deadline, sources close to both organizations tell Fastbreak on FanNation,” Siegel wrote on January 10.

Siegel would continue by noting that though Toronto’s asking price for Trent has not been revealed, “rival executives believe that the Raptors will be aiming to add immediate draft capital given their recent struggles this season.”

Considering their influx of draft picks over the next several years, the Knicks could very easily outbid any other potential pursuer for the fifth-year veteran’s services should they be fully invested in bringing him aboard.

Through 41 games played in 2022-23, Trent is putting forth one of his best seasons as a pro with tremendous averages of 18.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game on 36.7% shooting from distance.

Despite his impressive production, however, NBA Insider Marc Stein reported back on January 8 that Toronto has “undeniably” made him available on the trade market.

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