Raptors Knicks Deal Trade Notes OG Anunoby Goes to New York

Raptors-Knicks Deal Trade Notes: OG Anunoby Goes to New York for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley – The Athletic

The Knicks and Raptors have paused in their dispute over some allegedly stolen files to agree to a trade near the end of 2023. In return, New York is moving RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and the Pistons' 2024 second-round pick to Toronto OG Anunoby. The Raptors will also send Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the Knicks.

For years, we've wondered if the Raptors would finally move on from Anunoby, who has been thrown around all over the trade block and on a VIP tour of the trade rumor mill. Now the Knicks are bringing him in as one of their top perimeter defenders. It's a lot to give up, but let's eradicate the red numbers and downgrade a few trading grades.

The Knicks receive OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn

There is some risk here for the Knicks as they gave up a significant amount of money for Anunoby. Barrett got off to a hot start to the season and then came back down to earth in December with a lazy month of shooting. I still believe in his game and think a change of scenery can do him some good. It was difficult for him to find a scoring rhythm as Julius Randle took possession of the ball in late situations. He can be more of a playmaker elsewhere, but we also need to see consistency in his shooting for that to happen.

Additionally, Quickley is one of the best bench players in the league and he is definitely capable of being a starter for a good team. Signing Donte DiVincenzo this summer made it easier for the Knicks to ship Quickley out and not deal with his restricted free agency this summer. Getting Malachi Flynn to come into the guard rotation is good insurance, and Precious Achiuwa is a much-needed strong player due to the Mitchell Robinson injury. Achiuwa can do some things with the ball, but he's a little undersized for a big primary player.

Anunoby will likely be a free agent this summer. He has a player option of around $19 million for next season and can earn much more annually by tapping the unrestricted free agent market. The Knicks probably wouldn't pass up Quickley in this trade without being fairly confident they can re-sign Anunoby this summer. (Anunoby's agent is the son of Knicks president Leon Rose, so there should be trust). Anunoby has the potential to fit in better than Barrett if he's willing to move into the hierarchy of Knicks ownership behind Jalen Brunson and Randle.

Anunoby is a great finisher around the rim and inside 10 feet. He can attack closeouts and you have to respect his outside shots. He has a career shooting rate of 37.5 percent from deep and is at exactly that level this season (37.4). He is typically a 40 percent shooter on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. So if he plays against Randle and Brunson on offense, there should be big opportunities for him when the ball swings.

However, the reason you get him is because of his defense. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. He can defend one through four on the court and make life difficult for his match. He's great at navigating screens, and the Knicks really need a stopper on the perimeter that they can throw to their opponents at the end of games. Anunoby is quick enough to guard smaller guards and strong enough to handle big wings and forwards. The Knicks add a more reliable shooter and an all-defense player. They just need to make sure they re-sign him this summer, assuming he doesn't exercise that player option.

Degree: B+ (higher if they re-sign him)


Hollinger: The Raptors-Knicks deal favors Toronto, but made too much sense for both sides to pass up

Raptors receive RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, 2024 second-round pick (Detroit)

While Masai Ujiri had sought multiple first-round picks for Anunoby in previous trade talks, he settled on two key Knicks rotation players. I might really like this deal for the Raptors. It poses far less risk for them than just hoping that Anunoby remains in free agency in the future.

As I mentioned, I think Barrett's game is more than just what he showed in New York. I've always thought he could be a good playmaker in a freer system, which is what Darko Rajaković would like to use as the Raptors' approach.

We've seen Barrett's assist percentage nearly double this season (10.1 to 18.3 percent) when Randle was off the floor. Too often, Barrett has been asked to create something new out of stagnation, and that is not his strength. We'll see if he and the Raptors can avoid that fate. While his 3-point shooting has been very poor month to month this season, his free throw percentage has improved and he is shooting better on mid-range shots. These should be signs that the 3-point shot will improve. But we only saw that in November.

The Raptors will need Barrett to be more efficient offensively than he was in New York. He returns to Canada and receives a contract for $83 million for the next three seasons after this one. They have time to find the right balance for the 23-year-old.

Quickley could be the real find in this deal for the Raptors. After losing Fred VanVleet this summer and Kyle Lowry before that, the Raptors needed a point guard. Dennis Schröder is the emergency solution they found cheaply in free agency. It will take a lot of money to keep Quickley in restricted free agency, but he is worth it. He can shoot the ball and is a good finisher around the basket. He changes speed so perfectly. The question is whether he can lead a team as a playmaker and use his goal threat to unbalance the defense.

To others, he was never much of a playmaker, mostly because his job was to come off the bench and score. Now he can showcase all of his point guard skills and better prepare his teammates. Scottie Barnes is the primary playmaker, but Quickley will have to take on some of the responsibility to create a balanced attack that the Raptors haven't quite figured out yet. Ultimately, it should send Schröder into a backup role as the main defender off the bench if that doesn't happen immediately.

There is no real danger of losing him in restricted free agency as the Raptors can match any offer he signs. So this is a big long-term investment in Quickley and Barrett. The Raptors also receive a first-round soft pick as they acquire the Pistons' second-round pick. It will likely be the 31st pick in 2024, so it's essentially a first-round pick without the contract guarantees of a first-round pick.


“Boom, I know what kind of game this is”: Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley won’t stop talking about the defense

Grade: A

More trade coverage

The athlete: Raptors trade OG Anunoby to Knicks for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley
John Hollinger: The trade between the Raptors and Knicks favored Toronto, but made too much sense for both sides to pass up

(Photo by OG Anunoby and Immanuel Quickley: Mark Blinch / Getty Images)