O.G. Anunoby trade grades: Raptors get depth with RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley; Knicks get big talent upgrade

The Raptors have needed to shake things up for a while now. They finally made a big move, agreeing to send O.G. Anunoby to the Knicks as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

This move will surely change the complexion of each team. Here are the instant grades for the Raptors and Knicks. 

OG Anunoby trade details

Knicks receive:

  • O.G. Anunoby
  • Precious Achiuwa
  • Malachi Flynn

Raptors receive:

  • RJ Barrett
  • Immanuel Quickley
  • Future second-round pick

MORE: Trade details of Raptors-Knicks swap

Raptors grade: B-

Anunoby is a very good player who could have likely brought more in return had the Raptors dealt him earlier. He can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, which led to a mediocre return.

Keeping all three of Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and Scottie Barnes was untenable both because of financial and fit issues. There was serious risk that the team would lose Anunoby for nothing.

From that standpoint, this deal makes sense. Barrett and Quickley are good players, but this is not the massive haul that Raptors fans had hoped for. Let’s put that aside for a second and look at the pieces they got back.

Barrett gives his hometown team some shot creation that they have needed. A career 34 percent shooter from deep, he won’t help address the team’s lack of shooting, but he will at least let them fly.

Barrett has struggled with efficiency throughout his entire career. He’s at a career-high 53.6 percent true shooting this season, which is still 4.4 percent below league average. He’s in the first year of a four-year, $107 million contract that will be tough to justify. But at age 23, he still has some improvement ahead of him.

Quickley is the much more interesting part of this deal. He seemed underutilized in New York coming off the bench. He finished runner-up in the Sixth Man of the Year voting to Malcolm Brogdon last season and would be a plus starter on most other teams. 

Quickley is a very good high-feel defender, a solid career 37 percent 3-point shooter who can pull up off the dribble, and can also provide some creation in pick-and-rolls. He has one of the best floaters in the game and gives the Raptors a badly needed guard who can put some pressure on the rim.

Quickley has also been an advanced stats darling for a number of years, suggesting that his value goes far beyond basic box score stats. 

His name has been on the trade block for a while now — the writing was on the wall when the Knicks failed to come to terms on an extension with him. He did disappear in last season’s playoffs, although he was battling an ankle injury in the team’s series against the Heat. 

The 24-year-old Quickley could end up being the steal of this deal if he can expand his game in a bigger role. If that’s true, then this is going to look a lot better for the Raptors down the road than it does today. 

O.G. Anunoby 02022023

Knicks grade: A

Is there a more perfect Tom Thibodeau player than Anunoby? He’s a hard-nosed player who has Defensive Player of the Year potential. He wreaks havoc in the passing lanes, guards multiple positions capably, and puts forth terrific effort. He’s also a solid career 37.5 percent 3-point shooter who isn’t afraid to let them fly. 

Every single team in the league needs 6-foot-7 wings who can shoot and defend. Anunoby is one of the best of that archetype. He’s not an All-Star player, but he’s a glue guy who can make Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle even better. 

Anunoby is a free agent and will likely command a huge deal this summer. But he’ll be worth the money, and the Knicks now have his Bird Rights along with the opportunity to offer him more than anyone else. This allows them to get off Barrett’s money, and Quickley (for reasons unknown) didn’t seem to be in their long-term plans anyway.

Achiuwa is a talented big man who can help the Knicks fill the void created by Mitchell Robinson’s season-ending injury. He’s not a starter-level player, but he’s a good defender who hasn’t quite been able to put it all together yet. He should battle with currently injured Jericho Sims for backup minutes behind Isaiah Hartenstein. 

Flynn hadn’t looked great in his first three years in the league. He isn’t really able to create advantages, which limits his impact as a point guard. But he did look like he was turning a corner in his fourth year, becoming more playable as a bench guard for the Raptors. 

That the Knicks had to only give up one second-round pick is a great coup for them. They have a huge stash of future first-round picks which they can now preserve for even more moves down the line. The deal makes them better today and in the future. 

Source : ESPN.com

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