Latest On Knicks/Raptors Trade

With the Knicks and Raptors both playing tonight, the two head coaches were able to talk about their new acquisitions in pregame sessions with reporters.

New York’s Tom Thibodeau started by saying he has handled personnel decisions before, so he understands how much work went into today’s trade. He added that it was difficult to part with RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, but OG Anunoby brings too many positives to pass up (video link from Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files).

“I think what OG has done and what he has shown is, one, he has positional size,” Thibodeau said. “Two, he can guard multiple positions. Three, he’s a terrific three-point shooter so he can space the floor. He’s also good in transition, very good finishing. And he’s young, so he still has a lot of development left in his game.”

Thibodeau added that Precious Achiuwa will give the team much-needed size and offensive rebounding, and he called Malachi Flynn “a good young player as well.”

Prior to tonight’s game in Detroit, Toronto coach Darko Rajakovic discussed how adding Barrett will affect the offense, tweets Eric Koreen of The Athletic.

“RJ is a very dynamic player,” Rajakovic said. “He is a very good cutter, good driver, an improved spot-up shooter as well. I’m really excited to see how he’s going to jell with our team.”

There’s more on today’s blockbuster trade:

  • Raptors president Masai Ujiri was in Detroit with the team and broke the news of the trade to Anunoby, Achiuwa and Flynn, tweets Kayla Gray of TSN Sports. She hears that Barrett and Quickley are expected to travel to Toronto tomorrow and meet with the media on Monday (Twitter link). They’ll likely make their debut in Monday night’s game against Cleveland.
  • Knicks veteran Taj Gibson talked to both Barrett and Quickley this morning after the deal became public, relays Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link). Gibson said it was “gut-wrenching” to lose the two players, but he told them they’ll have great opportunities in Toronto.
  • Although Anunoby is a nice addition to the roster, the Knicks don’t believe they’ll be able to obtain a true star player before next summer, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. New York still owns a wealth of draft assets, Katz adds, along with the salaries of Josh Hart, Evan Fournier, Donte DiVincenzo and Quentin Grimes to use in a trade for a max-salary player.
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