After months of rumours, the Toronto Raptors traded OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.
Anunoby was drafted 23rd overall by the Raptors in 2017, and he won an NBA Championship with the team in 2019.
Prior to the deal, Anunoby was third on the team this season in points per game (15.1), fourth in assists per game (2.6), and tied for second in steals per game (1.0).
Anunoby, now 26 years old, was the NBA Steals Champion in 2022/23, averaging 1.9 per game. That earned him a First-Team All-Defensive honor, the first of his career.
Precious Achiuwa, a 24-year-old forward/center, and 25-year-old guard Malachi Flynn are also heading to New York in the deal.
In return, the Raptors receive RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley from the New York Knicks.
Barrett was the third-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and as a score-first wing, he has averaged 18.2 points per game so far this season which is good for third on the Knicks before the trade.
Quickley came off the bench in all 30 games for the Knicks before the trade and he averaged 15.0 points per game, the fourth-most on the team.
The deal shows that Toronto is beginning to rebuild, and it would not be shocking to see Pascal Siakam follow Anunoby out the door before the February 8 trade deadline. Siakam, like Anunoby, will be a free agent after this season.
The new acquisitions are better fits for the Raptors' new timeline as Barrett is 23 and Quickley is 24. Scottie Barnes, a 22-year-old forward, is the player that Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri wants to build around.
Barnes won the 2021/22 Rookie of the Year Award and he leads the team in rebounds, steals, and blocks. Plus, he is 0.9 points per game behind Siakam to be the team's leading scorer.
Toronto is currently 12-20 and sits 12th in the Eastern Conference. If their 2024 first-round draft pick does not land within the top six picks, it will go to the San Antonio Spurs as part of the Jakob Poeltl trade at the 2023 trade deadline.
The upcoming NBA Draft does not have tons of top-end talent, so the Raptors won't miss out on a Victor Wembanyama-level prospect if the pick goes to the Spurs.
Toronto landed the Detroit Pistons' second-round pick in this trade, which should be the top pick of that round. In a season with plenty of fourth- and fifth-year players leading the best college teams, there should be some talented players available at that stage in the draft.
All in all, it should be deemed a successful trade since the Raptors got themselves two instant contributors who fit the team's timeline in return for a player who would have left the team for free at the end of the season.
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