With a tremendous career 37.5 percent clip from three-point range, OG Anunoby proves to be a talented defender. It’s not shocking to see why the Toronto Raptors swingman is pursued by multiple teams this season. The Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz are both interested in trading for Anunoby, a 24-year-old veteran on the brink of getting an all-defensive squad.
After the rise of excellent rookie Scottie Barnes, Fischer reports that rival front offices have speculated that Anunoby is getting disgruntled with his job with the Raptors, but Fischer also notes that two sources have told him that Anunoby has shown dissatisfaction with his position.
To put it another way, this may be dream fulfillment disguised as trade bait for opposing teams. Masai Ujiri, the president of the Raptors, has always regarded Anunoby as a key member of the team and considers him one of his top draft choices. It must be noted that a transfer could result in him playing a larger role, particularly with the Jazz and Trail Blazers.
Anunoby signed a four-year, $72 million agreement with the Raptors in 2020, and as the team finished its first campaign post-Kyle Lowry, his versatility to guard different positions at a pro level while striking above-average outside the arc has inspired many to believe he’s invincible.
Whereas the Raptors have never expressed interest in trading Anunoby, we’ll consider a possible offer from the Jazz for the sake of discussion, as the Jazz are widely prepared to put up three-time Defender of the Year Rudy Gobert or all-star guard Donovan Mitchell this summer. Toronto has been trying to enhance at centre, and Gobert, at least on paper, fulfills all the criteria.
For both sides, a prospective transfer to the Trail Blazers is confusing. After trading CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans in the middle of the season, Portland is eager to gain a second star to pair with Damian Lillard. Josh Hart and the No. 7 choice in the 2019 NBA Draft are almost definitely insufficient to convince Ujiri. However, it’s questionable whether the Toronto Raptors will actually trade OG Anunoby, so we’ll have to wait and see where the forward ends up with some other team next season.