Month: April 2024

Raptors Notes: Siakam, Trade Rumors, Quickley, Barnes

After word of the OG Anunoby trade broke on Saturday, the general consensus among league insiders who spoke to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca is that the Raptors were just getting started, with  multiple sources suggesting that the deal with the Knicks may be the first of several moves made by Toronto.

“It’s a reboot around Scottie Barnes, that’s for sure,” one source told Grange.

After previously reporting that league sources expect Pascal Siakam to be on the move sooner or later, Grange adds the Mavericks to the list of teams likely to to pursue the Raptors forward. The Hawks, Pacers, and Kings are the clubs that have been repeatedly cited as presumed suitors for Siakam.

Jalen Johnson was a player the Raptors coveted in previous talks with Atlanta, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, though the Hawks won’t be particularly inclined to include him in an offer in the midst of his breakout season. Along similar lines, the Kings have been unwilling to discuss former No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray, Scotto confirms.

As Scotto has previously observed, Pacers forward Jarace Walker, this year’s No. 8 overall pick, seems to fit the mold of the kind of young, controllable player the Raptors would like. Walker’s lack of playing time so far in his rookie season has some people around the league wondering if Indiana would give him up in a package for an impact player.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Finding a guard who is comfortable playing off the ball and who can space the floor alongside Barnes was a priority for Toronto, according to Grange, who says there’s a lot of enthusiasm among Raptors officials about what Quickley can bring to the team. “Quickley is the perfect pairing next to Scottie Barnes because of the shooting and floor spacing he’ll provide,” one rival executive told Scotto.
  • While the Raptors’ goal is to add pieces that better complement Barnes, the young forward declined to comment when asked about Saturday’s trade, which sent three of his best friends on the team to New York, Grange notes. “This is the NBA, that’s the thing, right?” Siakam said of the deal. “Like we got to be robots and just move on. Because that’s what it is. We get paid for it, right?  So you have to move on… (but) it sucks. It’s not easy. For some people is the first time (they’ve been through it) but I’ve seen it happen. So I understand. … It’s a business and you learn about it every day, and every day you try to just be out there you know, like look out for yourself, look out for your teammates, and do the best that you can.”
  • Following a loss to the lowly Pistons on Saturday, the Raptors are 12-20 on the season, and postgame comments from Dennis Schröder indicated that the club isn’t exactly a “cohesive, well-oiled” machine, writes Grange. “When I got here, (head coach) Darko (Rajakovic) did a great job just putting this system into the organization,” Schröder said. “But I think we just got to follow that. Everybody just being unselfish, sharing the ball…  to be a winning team, we need everybody, Even the guys who don’t really, really play. People got to be grateful, cheering on their teammates when they get a stop, when they get on the floor, dive, pick them up, being excited for one another. I don’t want to go deep into that, but I need to feel that because in the summer I did. … I went to war with all my brothers from the (World Cup champion German) national team. But we knew we had each other. I don’t feel it here yet like that.”

Florida Notes: Butler, Highsmith, Carter, Fultz

The Heat have a new injury concern with Jimmy Butler, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Returning to the lineup after missing the previous four games with a left calf strain, Butler had to leave Saturday’s contest at Utah after hurting his right foot in a collision with Collin Sexton. According to Chiang, Butler walked slowly to Miami’s bench after the play and then headed to the locker room.

Head coach Eric Spoelstra wasn’t able to offer an update on Butler’s condition after the game, but X-rays taken on his foot were negative. Chiang states that the team will see how Butler is feeling over the next few days before deciding whether to perform an MRI.

Chiang notes that Butler has already missed eight games this season and may have to add to that total. With Tyler Herro sidelined for a long stretch due to a sprained ankle and Bam Adebayo dealing with nagging injuries, the team’s three best players have only been together for eight games.

There’s more on the two Florida teams:

  • Haywood Highsmith was helped to the locker room in the final seconds of Saturday’s game after he also collided with Sexton and was hit in the head and neck area, Chiang adds. Injuries have already caused Highsmith to miss 11 games. The Heat were using their 18th different starting lineup of the season Saturday, as ongoing injuries gave rare starts to Nikola Jovic and two-way player R.J. Hampton.
  • Goga Bitadze was back in the Magic‘s starting lineup on Friday, but he didn’t find out about the assignment until an hour before game time, per Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Wendell Carter Jr.‘s right knee flared up during warm-ups and he was ruled out because of tendinitis. “Honestly, even before the game I thought he was going to play,” Bitadze said. “We talked with him an hour before the game. I don’t want to say it was hard, but it was different. You’ve got to lock in differently when you start the games than when you come off the bench. I had to lock in and find a place [mentally] where I was ready to start. I think I did a good job and it was a great win.” Coach Jamahl Mosley said the medical staff will monitor Carter closely as he continues to work his way back after missing 20 games with an injured left hand.
  • Markelle Fultz is listed as questionable for the Magic‘s contest Sunday at Phoenix, meaning there’s a chance he could return after missing 23 games with tendinitis in his left knee, Beede adds.

Miles McBride Signs Three-Year, $13MM Extension

9:44pm: McBride’s extension is official, the Knicks announced (via Twitter).


9:29pm: The Knicks have reached an agreement with Miles McBride on a three-year contract extension worth $13MM, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal was confirmed to Wojnarowski by McBride’s agents, Mark Bartelstein and Andy Shiffman of Priority Sports.

The 23-year-old guard was the 36th pick in the 2021 draft and was acquired by New York in a draft-night trade. He’s making $1.8MM this year and would have been on a path toward restricted free agency after the season if not for the extension. The deal will keep him under contract through the 2026/27 season.

All three years of McBride’s extension are fully guaranteed and his salary will decrease each season, a source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Post (Twitter link).

The extension comes just hours after a trade that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto, which should open up an opportunity for McBride. He saw a season-high 18 minutes in tonight’s game at Indiana, scoring five points with one assist.

McBride hasn’t received consistent playing time in any of his three seasons with the Knicks, averaging 10.0 minutes over 122 combined games. Before tonight, he had appeared in 18 games this season, putting up 1.9 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 4.6 minutes per night.

The extension clears up a small piece of New York’s upcoming offseason, but the team still has 11 potential free agents (including two-ways), as our tracker shows.

Celtics Notes: Kornet, Trade Deadline, Title Odds, Porzingis

Luke Kornet looked comfortable in the Celtics‘ starting lineup Friday, even though he was making his first start in two-and-a-half years, writes Jay King of The Athletic. With Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford both sitting out the second night of a back-to-back, Kornet played 30 minutes and delivered a season-high 20 points and eight rebounds while shooting 9-of-11 from the field.

There had been doubts this week regarding Kornet’s future in Boston’s rotation considering the recent surge by two-way big man Neemias Queta. Kornet missed six games due to an adductor strain earlier this month and was held out of the last two in favor of Queta. He decided to focus on doing whatever he can to help the team rather than worrying about his own playing time.

“I feel like when you’re concerned about yourself and you’re in that situation, one, you start feeling a little bit powerless and stuff like that, which isn’t great,” Kornet said. “But then also you’re not really uplifting or benefiting anybody. And especially on an NBA roster and those 18 spots, there’s going to be a lot of guys who aren’t playing on any given night and you kind of have the choice to be able to, yeah, sort of like offer your work to the good of the group or just kind of close in on yourself. To me, it seems like the better solution is pretty clear in that.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Kornet’s performance may reduce the urgency for the Celtics to pursue another big man before the trade deadline, observes Brian Robb of MassLive. Robb points out that that Boston doesn’t have many sizeable contracts to use for salary matching outside of its top six players, and Kornet and Queta are playing as well as any center who might be available in that salary range.
  • The Celtics are an even bigger favorite to win the NBA title after a successful West Coast trip and rival executives are taking notice, per Steve Bulpett of Heavy. “Before, they’d fall into a lot of one-on-one with (Jayson) Tatum and (Jaylen) Brown when things got tough, but you’re not seeing that really now,” a rival front office member told Bulpett. “Those guys are giving it up more when they should, and they’ve got too many people who can beat you.” Bulpett also spoke to sources about the impact that Boston’s offseason trades have had on the club.
  • In an interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, Porzingis acknowledges that it wasn’t easy coming to a team that traded its emotional leader to acquire him. “What they’re giving up for me was a big piece of this team — Marcus Smart,” Porzingis said. “I’m having to come in and not replace him, but come in with who I am and bring what I bring to a team. There was some responsibility.”

Pistons End Record Losing Streak

After going two months without a victory, the Pistons snapped their 28-game losing streak tonight with a 129-127 win over the Raptors.

Detroit still has the league’s worst record at 3-29, but the franchise won’t have to hold the record for the NBA’s longest-ever losing skid by itself. The 28-game slide matches what the Sixers did over the 2014/15 and ’15/16 seasons.

“I think people may have thought they were OK with losing, but they came in every day with a great spirit wanting to win,” coach Monty Williams told reporters. “… We always had our joy because knew that if we put it together we could win just not one game, but put a few together.” (Twitter link from Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press)

Cade Cunningham continued his recent hot streak, posting 30 points, three rebounds and 12 assists. He’s averaging 34.0 PPG in the Pistons’ last three games. Detroit also benefited from balanced scoring — with all five starters reaching double figures and Alec Burks adding 16 points off the bench — in notching its first victory since October 28.

“It’s been weighing on us heavy everywhere we go, which is two months,” Cunningham said of the losing streak (Twitter link). “Which is unreal for it to be that long … we’re not trying to go back. Now it really begins where we see what we can really be.”

Owner Tom Gores, who promised last week to make changes in response to the streak, issued a statement after the game acknowledging that everyone has been dealing with difficult circumstances, tweets Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

“I’m proud of how our guys have continued to fight through adversity,” he said. “I know it’s been hard, but they’ve kept their heads up and showed real character. The streak is over, but the hard work continues.”

The game vs. Toronto appeared to be a prime opportunity for the Pistons to end the streak against because the Raptors were on the second night of a back-to-back and were playing shorthanded after trading OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to New York earlier in the day. Detroit led by 11 points with 5:50 left to play, but had to hold off a late Toronto comeback before claiming the victory.

“It was a very emotional day … but I don’t want to take anything away from Detroit,” said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic (Twitter link from Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca). “They played a good game and deserved the win.”

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.

Nets Notes: Thomas, Walker, Bridges, Suns’ Picks

Cam Thomas isn’t complaining about being removed from the Nets‘ starting lineup, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Coach Jacque Vaughn shook things up Friday night by having Dorian Finney-Smith replace Thomas, who is the team’s leading scorer at 22.5 PPG. The third-year guard said he understands the move and is willing to do whatever is necessary to help the team.

“I’m going to just call it how it is: Everybody wants to start,” Thomas said. “At the end of the day, I want to start, but for what the team needs, I gotta come off the bench where it’s sixth or seventh man, come in and bring energy. So [I’m] just not getting down just staying positive and keep my energy high.”

Lewis notes that the previous starting five that teamed Thomas with Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Nic Claxton and Spencer Dinwiddie had been among the least efficient units in the NBA, sporting a minus-21.4 net rating that ranked last in the league among those with at least 100 minutes together. Vaughn was concerned that the Nets had been getting off too many slow starts, and he deemed that aspect of the new lineup successful, even though Brooklyn lost on Friday at Washington.

“At the first timeout, we did have a lead at that time. Finished the quarter even,” Vaughn said. “The numbers, they are what they are. That group that was previously starting … I was hoping that we’d be able to be so good offensively that it would cover up some of the holes defensively and just hadn’t, and so that’s what forced the change.”

There’s more on the Nets:

  • After missing 14 games with a strained left hamstring, Lonnie Walker could be ready to return Tuesday at New Orleans, Lewis states in a separate story. Vaughn told reporters that date isn’t definite, but Walker accompanied the team on its road trip and he’s getting closer to being cleared. “I’m getting there,” said Walker, who hasn’t played since November 30. “Still no timetable, but [Friday] was a very, very huge step forward as far as understanding how my physical aspect as far as movement and jumping and running, how I feel. I felt terrific and probably the best I felt in quite a long time.”
  • Bridges is averaging career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists, but Brooklyn’s sub-.500 record won’t help his All-Star chances, Lewis adds in another piece. There’s plenty of competition at forward in the Eastern Conference, and his teammates are aware of what’s at stake. “Mikal is playing his way into an All-Star-type of conversation,” Dinwiddie said, “if we can be fortunate enough to keep winning.”
  • The Nets’ front office is keeping a close eye on the Suns‘ slow start, Lewis observes. Last season’s Kevin Durant trade gave Brooklyn unprotected first-round picks from Phoenix in 2025, 2027 and 2029, along with a potential pick swap in 2028. The Nets stand to benefit greatly if the Suns’ Big Three experiment doesn’t work out.

Knicks Notes: Anunoby, Flynn, Achiuwa, Thibodeau, Skapintsev

When OG Anunoby decided to leave Klutch Sports this past offseason, he had meetings with several agencies and told prospective representatives that he would like a larger offensive role, one that would be commensurate with an annual average salary of $40MM, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Anunoby is earning $18.6MM this season and has the ability to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, at which point he’ll be in line for a substantial raise.

But the Knicks didn’t acquire the forward without a clear understanding of his contract situation, according to Fischer, who suggests that Anunoby may be more willing to sign a team-friendly deal with New York than he would have with another team. Sources tell Yahoo Sports that agents who met with the 26-year-old in the offseason got the impression he’d be willing to accept less than $40MM per year if he were to end up in New York.

As Fischer observes, it’s also worth noting that Anunoby ultimately ended up signing with CAA, an agency that works closely with the Knicks. One of Anunoby’s representatives is Sam Rose, the son of Knicks president Leon Rose.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Posing 10 pressing questions for the Knicks in the wake of the Anunoby deal, Stefan Bondy of The New York Post explores the motivation for the move, considers whether Malachi Flynn or Miles McBride will become the backup point guard, and examines what to expect from Precious Achiuwa, among other topics.
  • It was apparent that the Knicks’ pre-trade roster had reached its ceiling, says Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post, arguing that the acquisition of Anunoby is exactly the sort of core shakeup the team needed. The deal also sets up the Knicks well for a follow-up trade, Vaccaro adds, given that the front office still has Evan Fournier‘s expiring contracts and all of its first-round picks to work with.
  • The newly acquired Knicks players won’t be active tonight in Indiana, but should be available for Monday’s game vs. Minnesota, assuming all goes well with their physicals, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau seems likely to hear from the NBA after criticizing the officiating following Friday’s loss to Orlando, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Thibodeau said that he was “sick and tired” of Jalen Brunson getting “hammered” and not earning foul calls. “Like, I watch. I send it in. I see it all. And they’re fouls. It’s plain and simple, they’re fouls and there’s no other way to say it, except they’re fouls. They’re fouls,” Thibodeau said. “No one drives the ball more to the rim than this guy does. And if you rake across his arm, you rake across his arm. And if you hit him in the head, you hit him in the head. Those are fouls. Those are fouls. [I’m] sick and tired of it.”
  • In a story for The Athletic, Mike Vorkunov takes a closer look at the journey that new Knicks two-way player Dmytro Skapintsev has taken from Ukraine to the G League to the NBA club.

Raptors Trade OG Anunoby To Knicks For Barrett, Quickley

2:48pm: The trade is official, the Knicks confirmed in a press release (Twitter link).

“We’re ecstatic to welcome OG, Malachi, and Precious to the Knicks family,” Knicks president Leon Rose said in a statement. “OG’s complete offensive game and ability to defend multiple positions will enhance our team on both ends of the court. Malachi and Precious are well-rounded players that will complement the hardworking and talented nature of our group. OG, Malachi, and Precious are perfect additions to the type of team and culture we are building in New York.”

The Raptors also announced the deal in a press release of their own.

“We’re excited about welcoming Immanuel and RJ to our team,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said. “Immanuel is a young, talented playmaker who we believe will provide a spark on both ends of the court. RJ is a versatile wing who is, of course, well-known in his hometown, and seeing him in a Raptors uniform will be a special moment for our fans and for all Canadians.”


11:27am: The Raptors are finalizing a trade that will send OG Anunoby to the Knicks in exchange for a package consisting of RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn are also headed to New York along with Anunoby in the deal, according to Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

The 2024 pick the Raptors are acquiring originally belonged to the Pistons, Wojnarowski tweets, so it currently projects to be atop the second round.

The deal will see the Knicks land one of the most coveted two-way players in the league in Anunoby, who has been viewed as a prime trade candidate for much of 2023. New York has been pursuing him for “a significant period of time,” according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), having reportedly offered multiple first-rounders for him at last season’s deadline.

The Knicks will now get a head-start on trying to retain Anunoby ahead of his potential 2024 free agency. The 26-year-old has a player option next season worth $19.9MM, which he’s expected to decline to secure a more lucrative contract.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, Anunoby will technically be extension-eligible after being acquired by the Knicks, but for the next six months, he’ll only be permitted to sign for up to two years and $40MM. On June 30, those limits will increase to four years and $117MM.

In all likelihood, whether or not he intends to re-sign with the Knicks, the seventh-year forward will opt to become a free agent, since his elite three-and-D skill set should put him in line for an even more substantial payday than he could get on an extension. Anunoby was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team last season and has averaged 16.4 points per game with a .381 3PT% since the start of the 2020/21 season.

Moving Barrett and Quickley should help clear up a logjam and clarify the rotation in New York’s backcourt, with wings like Donte DiVincenzo and Quentin Grimes primed to take on larger roles alongside star point guard Jalen Brunson. Flynn likely won’t play regular minutes for his new team, but he’ll provide some depth at guard, while Achiuwa will give the Knicks another option up front with Mitchell Robinson out for the season.

Toronto, meanwhile, won’t get a first-round pick back for Anunoby but will instead bring in Quickley, who finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting last year, and Barrett, a Canadian and former No. 3 overall pick. Quickley will be a restricted free agent in 2024, while Barrett is under contract through 2026/27.

Barrett loved New York and enjoyed playing for the Knicks, but if he was going to be dealt, he viewed his hometown of Toronto as a great option, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The 23-year-old played for the Canadian national team in the FIBA World Cup this past summer.

Both Barrett and Quickley had seen their playing time with the Knicks dip a little in the first half of this season. Barrett averaged 18.2 points per game on .423/.331/.831 shooting in 26 starts (29.5 MPG), while Quickley posted a career-best 15.0 PPG on .454/.395/.872 shooting in 30 appearances off the bench (24.0 MPG).

The lack of first-round draft capital heading to Toronto indicates the Raptors are content with retooling, rather than outright rebuilding — that aligns with a report earlier this week, which indicated that the organization has “no appetite for a reset, teardown, or rebuild.”

It remains to be seen what Toronto does with Pascal Siakam, whose name has also come up in trade rumors in recent weeks and who is also a candidate for an extension. Depending on their plans for Siakam, the Raptors could generate a significant chunk of cap room in the 2024 offseason while still being able to re-sign Quickley, notes Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (via Twitter).

In the shorter term, the move will open up a spot on Toronto’s roster and will keep team salary slightly below the luxury tax due to the inclusions of Achiuwa and Flynn, both of whom will be restricted free agents in 2024.

The Knicks will have to waive someone to complete the deal. According to Charania (via Twitter), that roster casualty will be DaQuan Jeffries, who was on a non-guaranteed contract and had seen limited action in just 10 games for the team this season.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the two Atlantic rivals came together to make this deal despite being engaged in a bitter legal feud off the court.

The Knicks filed a lawsuit against the Raptors in August, alleging that former employee Ikechukwu Azotam illegally took confidential files with him when he was hired by Toronto. The two teams have gone back and forth in court filings in the months since then, but it seems their front offices had no problem working with one another.

Luke Adams contributed to this story.

Raptors To Continue Exploring Pascal Siakam Trades

After agreeing to send OG Anunoby to New York, the Raptors are expected to continue exploring trades involving forward Pascal Siakam, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

While Wojnarowski reports that there’s currently no traction on any deal involving Siakam, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) says league sources expect the two-time All-Star to be on the move at some point.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports also writes that league personnel anticipate a Siakam trade following today’s Anunoby deal. As Fischer observes, many rival executives had long believed that Siakam was more likely to be traded than Anunoby, with the Hawks, Kings, and Pacers frequently mentioned as potential suitors. Toronto and Atlanta had serious conversations about the 29-year-old over the summer.

Like Anunoby, Siakam can become an unrestricted free agent in 2024, so the Raptors will have to make a decision soon on whether or not he’s part of their long-term plans. Toronto’s cap situation going forward will allow the team to re-sign both Siakam and Immanuel Quickley to new contracts that begin in ’24/25, but the club would, of course, gain significantly more cap flexibility by not having to commit to a new maximum-salary – or near-max – contract for Siakam.

As cap expert Yossi Gozlan observed this afternoon (via Twitter), the Raptors are in position to generate more than $36MM in cap room in 2024 and then go over the cap to re-sign Quickley, but that projection would require Siakam to not be on the books beyond this season — it would also mean not taking back any multiyear money in a Siakam trade, which may not be realistic.

From a basketball perspective, there had been questions about the long-term on-court fit of the Anunoby/Siakam duo alongside franchise cornerstone Scottie Barnes. Led by those three forwards, the Raptors had gotten off to a 12-19 start this season.

Removing Anunoby from the equation could give Barnes and Siakam an opportunity in the coming weeks to show that they can thrive alongside one another, but Anunoby is a better shooter and floor-spacer than Siakam and was widely considered to be the better complementary piece for Barnes.

Reports have indicated that the Raptors have “no appetite” for a teardown or rebuild, and the return in the Anunoby trade reflects that, as the team opted for two young building blocks rather than attempting to load up on future draft picks. If Toronto makes a move with Siakam, the club would presumably seek a similar kind of package.