The Knicks have acquired veteran wing OG Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that New York will send RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round pick.
The Toronto Raptors are finalizing a trade to send OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks for a package including RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and draft considerations, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/Z81TH1EexF
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 30, 2023
The Knicks will also receive rim protector Precious Achiuwa in the deal, and Shams Charania reports Malachi Flynn is also headed to New York.
Additionally, Woj noted that Knicks president Leon Rose has been high on OG Anunoby for a while. He’ll be a free agent this summer, so it’s clear Rose wants to re-sign him if he proves a good fit.
Anunoby spent two years at Indiana and was drafted by Toronto at No. 23 in 2017. He did nothing but improve his first five year in the leagues before losing touches to Scottie Barnes.
Of course, this trade will be polarizing and jarring among Knicks fans. The team drafted RJ Barrett third overall in 2019 and he became popular. Fans still fondly recall his game-winning three against the Celtics two years ago.
However, Barrett is a poor defender and has failed to find a consistent shot. He became the odd man out while Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle led the way. Now, the young Canadian gets a fresh start with his hometown team.
Losing Immanuel Quickley, however, will have an immediate ripple effect. The pending free agent continues to grow as a point guard and not just a three-point threat. Quickley is averaging 15 points per game on 45.4% shooting, and shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc. All career highs.
If anything, losing Quickley is the worst part of this trade. OG Anunoby is a great acquisition, but Quickley was worth more than a second-round pick. One way or another, he’s playing himself into a large payday this summer.
Now let’s shift to Flynn. He won’t be the immediate sixth man. He’s only played 15.3 minutes per game and shot 35% from long range. If there’s anywhere that the Knicks will lose the trade, it’s bench scoring. He could prove a surprise, but the Knicks would be wise to trade for another shooter.
Or, crazy idea, maybe use this opportunity to revive Evan Fournier’s value?
One way or another, the Knicks look better where it matters after this deal. Anunoby provides two-way talent and more consistency. Achiuwa is a tough defender who can fill in now that Mitchell Robinson is out for the season.
It’s also still December and the trade deadline isn’t until February 8. This might only be the Knicks’ first move.