Is Raptors’ OG Anunoby Actually Worth Massive Trade Haul?

OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

There isn’t an NBA team being monitored more than the Toronto Raptors as the Feb. 9 trade deadline nears. Among the prized trade targets teams are eyeing is OG Anunoby. Should that be the case?

In 45 games, Anunoby is averaging 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 steals in 35.8 minutes per game. He’s shooting 45.7 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc. The numbers he’s produced are certainly respectable. He is earning $17,357,143 this season, then $18,642,857 in 2023-24 before having a $19,928,571 player option for 2024-25. Ultimately, the soon-to-be 26-year-old could become a free agent after next season.

A significant dilemma the Raptors face that tends to get overlooked significantly is the lack of versatility their main frontcourt talents collectively have. Pascal Siakam is the clear-cut most talented option given his All-NBA resume, but he’s at his best as a mid-post threat that gets into the paint. The same can be said about Anunoby and Barnes, but they aren’t nearly as impactful when given the basketball.

The Raptors would be an immensely better basketball team if Anunoby or Barnes were perimeter shot-creators with more of a diverse scoring arsenal. Barnes has plenty of time to develop layers to his game. As far as Anunoby is concerned, he is already 25 and has multiple seasons of being a genuinely putrid self-creation threat in many key areas. There isn’t one area you can give the ball to Anunoby to be the focal point of an offense and expect consistently positive results.

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Don’t just take my word for it; let’s dive into the data. He is shooting an atrocious 35-110 FG (31.8 percent) on pull-up jump shots. When breaking it down by distance, he’s shooting 6-26 3P (23.1 percent) and 29-84 2P (34.5 percent). When simplifying it to his output of 0.653 points per possession on dribble jumpers, there isn’t a less efficient player among the 103 with at least 100 attempts. Again, he’s not a legitimate shot-creation threat.

Okay, that’s fine. Anunoby is a force when attacking the rim, though, right? Well, no. Not even close. He shoots 40.0 percent on drives, which is the worst among all players with at least 125 drives. Whether given the ball to run a ball screen, score in isolation, attack out of the post, or play out of a handoff, he has been among the least efficient players in the NBA on comparable volume. That’s not a star.

Again, when parting with a massive trade haul, that player has to be a proven star talent. Anunoby has much to show before being considered a player of that caliber. Donovan Mitchell was worth a robust trade package. Rudy Gobert was wrongfully considered by some to be the main factor behind the Utah Jazz’s recent success and was clearly not worth the trade package he was moved for. One is a true, dynamic star, while the other is a specialist that lacks sufficient self-creation ability.

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Granted, Anunoby isn’t going to command nearly as insane of a trade return as Gobert. Regardless, the point remains true that moving a significant trade package assets for a limited offensive player raises possible concerns. If a trade suitor is banking on Anunoby having some massive leap as a self-creator, and it flops, that’s a highly concerning trade outcome.

In fact, that could be a genuinely devastating fallout for some franchises without a surplus of future draft capital. Take the Dallas Mavericks, for example. They face pressure to make a bold move to get Luka Doncic more help but are limited on assets. If they clean out their assets for a player that fails to reach that secondary star level, they will be gridlocked.

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Imagine a team with Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. in the backcourt and Siakam in the frontcourt. Throw in a borderline All-Star wing with scoring talent, and that’s a very intriguing lineup. Neither Anunoby nor Barnes have yet to fit that mold, which has truly held the Raptors back. It also takes us back to the summer. What would the Raptors look like with Kevin Durant in place of Barnes?

All of this isn’t to say that Anunoby isn’t worth taking a risk in a trade package for the right team. Rather, the point is to say: Proceed with caution and be aware of what you are trading for. He isn’t the next Paul George or Jimmy Butler, and the odds of him reaching that level is very low. Anunoby is not even the next Jaylen Brown, either. If the Raptors can get a haul for him at the trade deadline, they shouldn’t hesitate to accept an offer. Learn from the Jazz. Strike while the trade iron is hot for a role player with hype.

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If a trade suitor with a surplus of draft assets already has multiple dynamic scoring threats or sorely lacks talent on the wing, then Anunoby could potentially be worth the trade ask. There aren’t many NBA teams that fit this mold. Some of the teams that come to mind range from contenders like the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, and Memphis Grizzlies to ascending teams like the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

About Grant Afseth 1199 Articles
Grant Afseth is an NBA reporter for NBA Analysis Network and Dallas Mavericks reporter for He previously covered the Indiana Pacers and NBA for CNHI's Kokomo Tribune and various NBA teams for USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Follow him on Twitter (@grantafseth), Facebook (@grantgafseth), and YouTube (@grantafseth).