Is Raptors’ OG Anunoby Really Worth It?

NBA Analytics Network

There is no NBA team more closely watched than the Toronto Raptors as the February 9 trade deadline approaches. One of the prized trading targets teams are looking at is OG Anunoby. Should that be so?

In 45 games, Anunoby averages 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 35.8 minutes per game. He shoots 45.7 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc. The numbers he has produced are certainly respectable. He will earn $17,357,143 this season, then $18,642,857 in 2023-24 before getting 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 major dilemma facing the Raptors that is often overlooked is the lack of versatility their main frontcourt talents collectively have. Pascal Siakam is the clearest most talented option given his All-NBA resume, but he’s at his best as a threat in the center of the post coming into the picture. The same can be said about Anunoby and Barnes, but they’re not nearly as impressive when they get the basketball.

The Raptors would be a vastly better basketball team if Anunoby or Barnes were perimeter shot creators with a more diverse scoring arsenal. Barnes has plenty of time to develop layers in his game. As for Anunoby, he’s already 25 and has several seasons of really rotten threat to self-creation in many key areas. There is no area where you can pass the ball to Anunoby to be the focal point of an offense and expect consistently positive results.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: OG Anunoby & Toronto Raptors Updates

Don’t just take my word for it; let’s dive into the data. He shoots a horrific 35-110 FG (31.8 percent) on pull-up jump shots. Breaking it down by distance, it shoots 6-26 3P (23.1 percent) and 29-84 2P (34.5 percent). Simplifying to his output of 0.653 points per possession on dribble jumpers, there is no less efficient player under 103 with at least 100 tries. Again, he’s not a legitimate shot-taking threat.

Okay, that’s fine. However, Anunoby is a force when attacking the edge, right? No. Not even close. He shoots 40.0 percent on drives, which is the worst of any player with at least 125 drives. Whether he gets the ball to play ball screen, score in isolation, attack from the post, or play from a handoff, he is among the least efficient players in the NBA at comparable volume. That’s not a star.

Again, if you say goodbye to a huge trade barrier, that player must have a proven star talent. Anunoby has a lot to show before he is considered a player of that calibre. Donovan Mitchell was worth a robust trading package. Erroneously considered by some to be the primary factor behind the Utah Jazz’s recent success, Rudy Gobert was clearly not worth the trade package he had moved for. One is a real, dynamic star, while the other is a specialist who does not have sufficient self-creating ability.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: OG Anunoby & Toronto Raptors Updates

Admittedly, Anunoby won’t be nearly as insanely enforcing a trade refund as Gobert. Anyway, the point remains true that moving a significant trading pack for a limited attacking player may be a cause for concern. If a trading broker is banking on Anunoby making a huge leap as a self-creator, and it flops, that’s a very worrying trading result.

In fact, that could have a really devastating impact on some franchises without a surplus of future design capital. Take the Dallas Mavericks, for example. They are under pressure to make a bold move to get Luka Doncic more help, but have limited resources. If they clear their belongings for a player who doesn’t reach that secondary star level, they’re stuck.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: OG Anunoby & Toronto Raptors Updates

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

None of this is to say that Anunoby isn’t worth taking a risk in a trade pack for the Turn right team. Rather, the point is to say: proceed with caution and be aware of what you are trading for. He’s not the next Paul George or Jimmy Butler, and the chances of him reaching that level are slim. Anunoby isn’t even the next Jaylen Brown either. If the Raptors can get a loot for him at the trade deadline, they shouldn’t hesitate to accept an offer. Learn from the Jazz. Strike while the trading iron is hot for a role player with hype.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: OG Anunoby & Toronto Raptors Updates

If a trade candidate with a surplus of towing resources already has multiple dynamic scoring threats or a major lack of talent on the wing, then Anunoby could potentially be worth the trade. Not many NBA teams 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 advancing teams like the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

#Raptors #Anunoby #Worth

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