Although no one is entirely certain what the Toronto Raptors are doing this offseason, they are engaged in some sort of activity. Darko Rajakovi is their new head coach, but it is unclear which squad he will manage. Jakob Poeltl’s $80 million contract renewal and the addition of Dennis Schröder on a two-year deal were Toronto’s lone free agency moves thus far. Even while the Raptors have a wealth of young talent, it’s still not apparent whether they plan to completely rebuild from scratch or not.
The two players that will decide this are Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. Siakam led the Raptors in points and rebounds last season, while Anunonby led the team in steals. However, rumors have persisted all offseason about whether they will be moving on from the team. While Siakam has gotten a lot of buzz, he has also made it clear that it’s Toronto-or-bust in regards to his career. Despite this, a team could be willing to essentially take him on a rental for one year. Meanwhile, Anunoby’s name is now starting to pop up more and more in trade talks.
Toronto Cagey Despite Interest In Anunoby
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 12: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors goes to the basket against Alex Caruso #6 of the Chicago Bulls during the 2023 Play-In Tournament at the Scotiabank Arena on April 12, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/Getty Images)
Per Michael Grange of Sportsnet, the New York Knicks have Anunoby high on their watch list. Anunoby had some of the best defensive metrics in the league last year. Acquiring him is something that would really solidify the Knicks as a contender. However, the problem appears to lie with Toronto. The Raptors are reportedly asking for a minimum of three first-round picks in exchange for Anunoby. Anunoby is under contract for two more seasons, with a player option for the 2024-25 season. At the very least, the multiple first-round pick figure was what the Raptors gave back in January when the Hawks tried to explore a trade. However, that was January, when the Raptors were doing much better than their .500 finish to the season.
Anunoby is a known favorite of Raptors president Masai Ujiri. It’s possible that Anunoby might not even be truly available. Instead, the team just naming a price to see if anyone calls the bluff. If that’s the case, the Knicks might pivot to their backup trade. Reportedly, the Knicks are very interested in trying to swing a trade for Sixers center and reigning MVP, Joel Embiid. These rumors have been floating around for a couple of months. However, the main thing is that they haven’t completely gone away. Regardless, it appears that the Knicks could target Anunoby…if the Raptors are willing to be reasonable.