Report: OG Anunoby Trade Candidacy?

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Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images
TORONTO, ONTARIO - OCTOBER 13: OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors stands during national anthems before playing the Chicago Bulls in their NBA basketball pre-season game at Scotiabank Arena on October 13, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

That sound we all heard earlier today?  It was the clicks.  The bait was laid, and we all clicked to our hearts content.  Those of you who don’t live on Twitter or any other basketball discussion forum might have a very simple question: What was the bait?

Jake Fischer, who was on the Raptors drafting Scottie Barnes ahead of seemingly everyone else, dropped an article discussing OG Anunoby’s trade candidacy with a particular focus on the Portland Trail Blazers.

The article starts with a quick note about Anunoby’s current role with the Raptors:

“Following a standout season from Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, word has circulated among rival front offices that Anunoby grew dissatisfied at times with his role in Toronto, where Barnes joined Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet as the primary ball-handlers in Nick Nurse’s offense.”

That…doesn’t sound great.  But there are three key words that are easy to gloss over: Rival Front Offices.  And Fischer immediately follows with the most important paragraph of the article:

“Two sources with knowledge of the dynamic told B/R that Anunoby has not directly expressed discontent with his situation with the Raptors. Perhaps the conversation around him has been driven more by external interest in acquiring the fifth-year forward’s services.”

There we have it.  Of course other teams want OG Anunoby.  He’s a premier wing defender who is capable of stretching the floor.  That is like found money to every organization in the NBA.

OG is pre-prime (24 years old) on a bargain contract, can defend 1-5 (including doing elite work on the 2-time defending MVP, Nikola Jokic), has been a 37.2% three-point shooter for his career, and can literally fit into any type of roster construction/timeline.

Every team would want an OG Anunoby.  And the Raptors have him.

With all that said, I think it’s obvious that my belief is this particular report is almost nothing.  And yet there is something relevant to it.  The Raptors are without a doubt going to receive phone calls about OG Anunoby, and will therefore have to gauge his value.

Fischer highlights the Trail Blazers in particular with a potential initial offer of Josh Hart and pick #7 in the 2022 NBA Draft, but then says:

“…league personnel believe Toronto would require far more than Hart and the seventh pick to part with Anunoby, considered to be a darling of Raptors lead executive Masai Ujiri. Anunoby’s trade value is seen as greater than Detroit’s known asking price for Grant: two first-round picks or a first and a promising rookie-scale prospect.”

On Twitter Sean Highkin added to the Blazers side of the conversation as well:

This is all likely smoke, and OG is obviously loved within the Raptors organization by the front office, coaching staff, teammates, and fans, but the Raptors as an organization still need to evaluate what the best path to another championship is.

Toronto won’t make any calls about OG Anunoby in trades talks, but they will still have to grapple with the question of what he is worth and where the trade conversation tipping point might be.

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