BREAKING NEWS: Toronto Raptors Trading OG Anunoby to New York Knicks for RJ Barrett & Involving Other Players


Today, my phone was buzzing with my followers, families and friends who informed me that the Toronto Raptors have traded OG Anunoby.

As I scrolled on the internet as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Toronto Raptors are finalizing a trade to send OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa to the New York Knicks in exchange for a package including Canada’s RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second-round draft pick originally belonging to the Detroit Pistons.

Another reliable source from Shams Charania of The Athletic, he is reporting that Raptors Malachi Flynn is also part of the trade package to the New York Knicks with the aforementioned trade deal.

MoVernie CONCLUSION: This is a great trade for both teams.

MoVernie ANALYSIS: Ideally, I would prefer to retain OG Anunoby as he is one of the best elite defenders in the NBA. He can shoot, make 3s, lock down the opposition top scorers, you can’t replace this type of talent. And I would rather resign OG to a new long-term contract and trade Pascal Siakam as I feel he is expendable and has reached his ceiling that there is no point to pay Spicy P even more money to stay since he is a free agent after this season.

Anyhow, perhaps OG wants a bigger role elsewhere and he is not super happy playing for Toronto as some of the media sources mentioned and OG will command at least $30M+ per season that Masai may not see the value in resigning him and instead pull the trigger to trade him away.

So, why trade OG now and not wait until the trading deadline comes in February 8, 2024? First of all, Masai has probably seen enough right now in December that he wants to energize the team with new blood and see if the team can go on a run and still try to get into the playoffs. If he waits til February 2024 to make a trade, it maybe too late to make a run for the playoffs. Moreover, if Masai waits until trading deadline to make a move, other NBA teams know that Masai is desperate to unload OG to get anything in return that no teams will offer anything reasonable. Instead of letting OG walk for nothing (which he did for Fred VanVleet), it’s better to get something back now.

RJ Barrett:

The REASON I think why this trade is a good deal for both teams and in particular for the Raptors is that….RJ Barrett is only 23 years old, he is young and more align the same age as Scottie Barnes. Moreover, RJ is a Canadian and lives in Mississauga, which is only 45 mins from Scotiabank Arena (home of the Raptors), it’s like a “Welcome Home” of some sort. Moreover, RJ is locked in a contract that for another 2-3 years, which means the Raptors don’t have to worry about him leaving as a free agent. RJ may not be as defensive guru as OG but he is decent and hold his own. RJ is improved such much in recent years making 3-pointers and with better free-throw %. At the same time, RJ can score and another big body in the starting lineup. Pretty much, RJ is another OG with more offensive upside but less defensive expertise.

Immanuel Quickley:

Ever since Immanuel Quickley came into the NBA, I am a big fan. He shows some sort of flashes and his ability to get into the paint during his rookie season. Although he wasn’t super consistent but shows promises. Just like his last name shows, he is quick and can score and play some exciting basketball. This season, he comes off the bench and still averages 15 points a game, that’s incredible!

If the Raptors insert RJ into the Small Forward position where OG once plays, that would be amazing! And Quickley to start as the Raptors starting point-guard, that would be amazing! With Denis Schroder and Gary Trent Jr. playing in the 2nd unit, the Raptors could make a run in the 2nd half of the season.

Now the Raptors got younger with this trade, RJ will have a few years left in his contract. Quickley rookie deal finishes after this season, if he works out, he could sign a new long-term deal with the Raptors. Toronto has struggled to find a good starting PG this year after Fred VanVleet left for Houston Rockets and Raptors also struggle with a reliable 2nd rotation PG. At the very least, Quickley will start for the Raptors in the foreseeable future or play in the 2nd rotation.

Including Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn doesn’t really hurt the Raptors as Precious wasn’t effective since last year and he hardly gets minutes this year. Flynn didn’t even grow much for the past few years under Nick Nurse regime and only starting to get some minutes with new head coach Darko Rajakovic. But he hasn’t really grown much in the past few years, I found him too passive as a point guard, and doesn’t have a reliable shot. So, he won’t be much help for Toronto.

As for why the New York Knicks wanted to make this trade? The Knicks lost a big men in Mitchell Robinson for the rest of the season, they need OG and Precious to provide defense and rebounding to complement Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. More importantly, maybe the Knicks don’t see paying RJ Barrett for another few years makes any sense, but instead, try to resign defensive specialist in OG and also trying to sign Donovan Mitchell in the off season. Knicks is a team to watch.

As a Raptors fan, I am excited coz I have been seeing some boring performance in the first few months of this season that we know Toronto isn’t going anywhere.

I look forward to see the new players in Toronto uniform.

RJ Barrett – Welcome Home!

Let me know your thoughts on whether you like this trade or not and why.


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