Contenders are eagerly exploring the market due to the upcoming February trade deadline, and the first domino just fell. The Toronto Raptors are sending OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a second round pick. Which team won the trade? How will the new additions fit? Get OG Anunoby trade grades for each franchise below.
New York Knicks Trade Grade
OG Anunoby is one of the top wing defenders in the NBA due to his versatility, length, and anticipation. Standing 6’7” with a 7’2” wingspan, Anunboy can mark shooting guards through power forwards while also being able to limit bigger point guards. He will be a massive addition to New York’s defense, especially given the amount of scoring wings in the Eastern Conference: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jimmy Butler, Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, etc.
Anunoby also owns an efficient outside shot to the tune of a 38.2 3PT% since the 2020 season. His spot-up shooting will fit perfectly next to New York’s drive-heavy offense. Plus, Anunoby has blossomed into an above average finisher around the basket. Essentially, New York swapped RJ Barrett’s shaky shooting and solid defense for one of the premier 3&D pieces in the league.
Meanwhile, Precious Achiuwa is a ferocious defender with the chops to guard centers and bigger forwards. It would not be completely shocking if he managed to find his way onto an All-Defensive team at some point in his career. Achiuwa doesn’t space the court on offense, but he’s a capable cutter and roller who crashes the glass hard. New York has been bringing 38-year-old Taj Gibson off the bench due to injuries, so Achiuwa fortifies an ailing frontcourt rotation for New York.
Finally, Malachi Flynn provides the Knicks with an emergency point guard that can soak up ten to fifteen minutes per game during the regular season until New York orchestrates another trade.
Losing Immanuel Quickley’s off-the-dribble scoring hurts, but the Knicks did not want to pay him this off-season. Therefore, sending him in a deal for Anunoby is a great return for New York. Plus, the front office can attempt to find a replacement before the deadline, such as Jordan Clarkson or Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Overall, New York added an elite playoff piece in Anunoby, a desperately needed backup center, and a decent backup guard for an underperforming wing and a player who would have likely left during free agency. The Knicks earn an “A” here, and it will be changed to an “A+” if they manage to acquire another scorer off the bench like Clarkson.
Toronto Raptors Trade Grade
The Raptors are currently 12-19 and fighting for the final play-in spot. It’s clear that Toronto does not possess the roster to be a contender, so they are attempting to re-tool the roster around franchise cornerstone Scottie Barnes. As a result, Anunoby is worth more to them as trade bait, and they caught a decent package here.
Sixth Man of the Year contender Immanuel Quickley averages 15 points per game on a quality 59.8 true shooting percentage. Per Basketball Index, Quickley ranks 27th across the NBA in their metric Self-Created Shot Making, which measures how efficient a player is at making self-created shots given the degree of difficulty. In other words, he is a dynamic off-the-dribble scorer that routinely hits tough shots. The Raptors own a feeble guard rotation, so acquiring Quickley is an excellent move. He complements Scottie Barnes too – an absolute must.
They also take a chance on former third overall pick and Toronto native RJ Barrett. He has struggled with shooting consistency and lacks an expanded off-the-dribble arsenal, but the occasional flashes are intriguing. Plus, he can hold his own defensively, which Toronto prioritizes. It’s definitely a risk to count on Barrett raising his efficiency; however, his upside combined with Quickley and a second rounder nets Toronto a good package.
Finally, Barrett (23) and Quickley (24) are a few years younger than Anunoby (26), so they are a superior fit for Barnes’ timeline.
The Raptors do not get an “A” because they are paying a ton of money here. Quickley needs an extension this summer, while Barrett is owed roughly $83M across the next three seasons. Although the talent return is desirable, the salaries are not.
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