Raptors Hope OG Anunoby Can Return During Finals

MAY 27: Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said today that Anunoby is about 10 days away from being able to play, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca.

“He’s doing better,” Nurse said. “He’s on the court. He’s moving around. He’s not 100%, but he’s healing.”

If Nurse’s estimate is accurate, Toronto could be aiming to get Anunoby back on the court for either Game Three or – more likely – Game Four in Oakland. Game Four is scheduled for next Friday, June 7, which is 11 days away.

MAY 26: The Raptors are quietly optimistic that OG Anunoby could return at some point during the NBA Finals, which are set to tip off in Toronto on Thursday night, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

Anunoby has missed each of the team’s 18 playoff games while rehabbing from appendectomy surgery. He underwent the emergency procedure six weeks ago, never receiving a firm timetable for his return.

For the Raptors, Anunoby provided depth off the bench in 67 games this season, averaging seven points, 2.9 rebounds and 20.2 minutes in his second campaign. Toronto managed to secure a birth in the Finals despite his absence and will soon square off with the defending-champion Warriors, a team that’s earned nine days of rest between their last contest and Game 1.

The extended timeline between Saturday’s Game 7 and Thursday — along with the spacing between each Finals game — are two key reasons why Toronto is hopeful Anunoby could return soon, Wolstat notes. If it reaches seven games, the series would run until June 16.

Anunoby, a chiseled 6’8″ defensive-minded forward, was drafted by the Raptors with the No. 23 pick in 2017. He’ll earn $2.28MM in 2019/20, with Toronto holding a $3.87MM team option on his contract for the 2020/21 season.

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9 thoughts on “Raptors Hope OG Anunoby Can Return During Finals

    • canajay12

      Wouldn’t say a non-factor. They can win without him but the Raptors need their depth to prevail and having another playable wing who can guard all over the court and contest shots against a team like GS is definitely a nice addition.

  1. If he can play, then he could be a big factor, since he changes the entire look of their bench (from a shallow one, to a deep one). But “at some point” in the series, when he’s missed 6 weeks, isn’t encouraging.

  2. Dionis89

    If he plays the Raptors can win the series earlier. He can knock down 3’s and Kawhi will need shooting around him in this series.

    I don’t know when Durant comes back so I can’t make a fair evaluation of the series but I say Raptors in 6.

    • formerlyz

      Before the playoffs, and right before the appendectomy, I had GS in 7. As you said, its tougher to figure out in this series b/c of the injuries. I could see Toronto having a legit chance to win this in 6, as you said, depending on when Durant plays, and if they get hot with their shooting. If they shoot the lights out, I’m not sure it matters. That would be tough to do against a defensive team like toronto

  3. GSW will sweep the series even without KD! So it really doesn’t matter if OG comes back or not. Even if GSW doesn’t sweep they will win easy, it will be a very boring & mismatched finals, other teams would have done better but… I won’t be watching until DMC comes back!

    • C-Daddy

      There’s a pretty solid argument to be made that the Raptors are the best team the Warriors have faced in the playoffs since KD joined the team. The Raptors also have home court and KD is likely out for the series. Raptors are underdogs but it should be a competitive series.

    • formerlyz

      You’re only saying that b/c you still somehow dont think Kawhi is an elite player

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