Prior to the team’s hot streak, someone within the Knicks organization reached out to the Raptors to inquire about a potential deal for OG Anunoby, Ian Begley of SNY TV reports. That would have signaled a major roster shakeup. Anunoby is averaging 18.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. The Knicks would have needed to surrender serious assets to acquire Anunoby, who has two years left on his four-year, $72MM contract.
We have more from the New York teams:
- In the same piece, Begley reports that the Knicks were a few defeats away from a major shakeup after getting blown out by Dallas on Dec. 3. Even before that loss, a top Eastern Conference executive tried to convey through back channels that he would be an ideal candidate for team president if Leon Rose lost his job.
- Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau hasn’t always seemed particularly enamored with center Mitchell Robinson. But Thibodeau feels Robinson has been a major catalyst during the seven-game winning streak. “Every game, it’s protecting the rim, making good decisions, guarding the pick and roll and then offensively, his offensive rebounding, then putting pressure on the rim,” the coach said. Robinson is in the first year of a four-year, $60MM contract.
- Nets center Nic Claxton recently declared he should be a prime candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award. His coach and teammates certainly value his rebounding and defense, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “He guards multiple positions for us … coming over to the weak side, blocking shots, putting pressure on the rim, rebounding,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “The games he doesn’t play, we miss him; it puts an extreme amount of pressure on other guys — there’s not another guy on our team that can do the things Nic does.”