Now, is it OG Anunoby‘s turn to feel off in Toronto?
Following a standout season from Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, word has circulated among rival front offices that Anunoby grew dissatisfied at times with his role in Toronto, where Barnes joined Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet as the primary ball-handlers in Nick Nurse’s offense.
Two sources with knowledge of the dynamic told B/R that Anunoby has not directly expressed discontent with his situation with the Raptors. Perhaps the conversation around him has been driven more by external interest in acquiring the fifth-year forward’s services.
Two landing spots already linked by league personnel have been Utah and Portland.
There are varying degrees of trade requests. If he hasn’t even directly told the Raptors about his discontent, Anunoby isn’t pushing too hard for a trade. But if he’s unhappy in his role, that could nudge Toronto toward dealing him. Players generally perform better when comfortable in their roles. This increases the odds Anunoby would provide more value to another team than to the Raptors.
He would provide much-needed perimeter defense for either the Jazz or Trail Blazers. Utah could trade Rudy Gobert, and Toronto could use a center. At least Damian Lillard wants Portland to build up quickly – the No. 7 pick an obvious trade chip. There are possibilities around those starting points.
Anunoby is a good player, just 24 and plays a 3-and-D style that’d make him a strong fit on practically every good team. He has a bargain contract (two years and $36 million left on his contract before a $19,928,571 player option). The Raptors should seek a lot for him.
Of course other teams are trying to pry him loose. But actually meeting a high asking price? That’s another question.