OG Anunoby is an excellent defender with a career 37.5 percent clip from three-point range, so it’s little surprise as to why the Toronto Raptors swingman is coveted by several other teams this summer.
Anunoby, a 24-year-old veteran who is on the verge of making an all-defensive team, is being courted by the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz as a potential trade target, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer.
Fischer writes that rival front offices have been speculating that Anunoby is growing dissatisfied with his role with the Raptors after the emergence of standout rookie Scottie Barnes, but also reports that two sources have told him that Anunoby hasn’t expressed displeasure with his position.
In simple terms, this may be wish fulfillment masquerading as trade bait for rival teams. Raptors president Masai Ujiri has always valued Anunoby as a central pillar of the organization and prides him as one of the best draft picks of his regime.
Anunoby signed a four-year, $72-million extension with the Raptors in 2020 and as the team completed the first season of the post-Kyle Lowry era, his ability to defend multiple positions at an elite level while providing above-average shooting from beyond the arc has led many to believe he’s virtually untouchable.
Although the Raptors have never shown any inclination to trade Anunoby, we’ll entertain a potential offer from the Jazz for argument’s sake, as the club is widely expected to move Rudy Gobert, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, or all-star guard Donovan Mitchell this summer. Toronto has been looking to upgrade at centre for the better part of two years and at least on paper, Gobert checks off all the proverbial boxes.
A potential trade to the Trail Blazers makes less sense for both parties. Portland is looking to acquire a second star to partner with Damian Lillard after sending CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans mid-season. An offer of Josh Hart and the No. 7 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft almost certainly isn’t enough for Ujiri and his staff to pick up the phone.
Don’t let the rumour mill fool you: it would take a substantial offer for the Raptors to move Anunoby.
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