O.G. Anunoby has been a hot trade commodity dating back to the last season’s trade deadline.
His 3-And-D skillset makes him a fit on virtually any team. Anunoby has gotten off to the best start of his career.
He’s averaging 17.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals on 55.3 percent shooting from the field and 41.7 percent from three.
The most impressive part of Anunoby’s early season play is his defense. He’s constantly getting the toughest assignment of the night and holding his own:
Anunoby over the last 2 games: 50 points on 33 shots while serving as the primary defender on Wemby and Luka, who needed 42 shots to score 51 points. https://t.co/enmZBVkg1h
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) November 9, 2023
Anunoby is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2024. A team like the Philadelphia 76ers have prioritized expiring contracts to maximize 2024 cap space.
According to Yossi Gozlan, if Philadelphia strikes out at the trade deadline, they’ll need to make sure they secure a top free agent and Anunoby could be atop of their list:
“If Philadelphia makes Anunoby a prime free agent target, the Sixers can follow a similar blueprint of Houston and Indiana in July. Those teams offered higher average annual salaries than expected to Fred VanVleet and Bruce Brown on short-term contracts. These teams had specific targets to pursue with their cap space and secured their services by outbidding everyone else.”
The Houston Rockets recently outbid the Raptors for Fred VanVleet in free agency. The last thing the Raptors would want is to get outbid and lose Anunoby for nothing.
Will the Raptors trade Anunoby?
Anunoby’s name will continue to be on the rumor mill especially if the Raptors hang around .500 or worse.
Toronto has shown a willingness to keep him to this point. However, if he continues to play like he has been then he will command a big pay day in free agency.
The Raptors have to decide if they view Anunoby in their long term plans. If they do, they have to do whatever it takes to retain him.
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