The Anunoby trade is proving to be a win-win so far.
The Toronto Raptors lost 96-105 against the Boston Celtics in the 2023-2024 NBA regular season at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday (Dec. 16).
Despite the loss, there were positives to take away from the performances of two free agents, RJ Barrett and Iman Shumpert. Barrett led Toronto’s offense with 24 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, while Quinckley also had a good game with 21 points and six rebounds.
Toronto traded OG Anunoby, who is a free agent at the end of this season, to the New York Knicks. Barrett and Quinckley were the players received in return.
At the time of the trade, both New York and Toronto felt they got a good deal. New York didn’t need a player like Barrett and Quinckley to take on a large role in the offense, but rather a player to support the one-two punch of Jaylen Brunson and Julius Randle, and Anunoby was the perfect fit for that role.
Toronto, on the other hand, needed a young prospect to form a core alongside Scotty Barnes, as Fred VanVleet is moving on and Pascal Siakam is a free agent after the season. Barrett and Quickley fit the bill.
Barrett is a young player, born in 2000, and a scoring forward who averaged 20 points per game in college and in New York. While he’s struggled a bit in New York this season, Barrett has never been a starter since entering the NBA, which means he’s still got potential.
Most importantly, Barrett is a Toronto native. Growing up, Barrett unsurprisingly rooted for the Raptors and revealed that Vince Carter was his idol. This is why Toronto fans were so excited when it was announced that Barrett would be joining the team in a trade.
Quigley is also a good piece for Toronto. Quickley is also a young player, born in 1999. He was chosen to be Toronto’s replacement at point guard after the departure of Banvlet.
He’s a classic scoring guard with a knack for three-pointers and floaters. His defense left something to be desired, which is why New York limited him to the sixth man. Quickley wanted a starting role and disagreed with New York’s use of him as a sixth man.
Toronto acquired Dennis Schroder in free agency to replace Banvlett, but Schroder has been a disappointment.
Once Quickley joined the team, the tempo of the offense began to pick up, and Quickley’s scoring was as good as expected. Since joining Toronto, Quickley is averaging 19 points and five assists per game. That’s enough to make you realize that you don’t even miss Schroder, let alone VanVleet.
Not to mention Anunoby’s performance in New York. Anunoby has been the final piece of the puzzle for head coach Tom Thibodeau, and he hasn’t disappointed. The Knicks immediately went on a six-game winning streak and became the best defensive team in the NBA.
While his scoring average is down slightly from his Toronto days (15 ppg->14.5 ppg), Anunoby is making a huge impact on defense and helping the team win games.
He’s been 100% of what New York was hoping for: an ace stopper on defense and a link between Randle and Brunson on offense. New York is very happy with the way Anunoby is playing right now. This trade between New York and Toronto has the potential to be a win-win for both sides.