Pistons Among Teams Eyeing OG Anunoby

The Pistons are expected to be active in the trade market prior to this season’s deadline and have interest in acquiring a forward, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, who identifies Raptors forward OG Anunoby as one of the players Detroit has its eye on.

Of course, as Edwards acknowledges, Anunoby is a trade target who will appeal to most teams across the NBA, given his three-and-D skill set and his seamless fit on virtually any roster. There’s also no guarantee that Toronto will make him available on or before February 8.

Even if Anunoby ends up on the trade block, it’s possible Detroit won’t aggressively pursue him during the season in the hopes that he could be signed in free agency next summer, Edwards adds. The 26-year-old has a player option for 2024/25 that he’s extremely likely to decline, while the Pistons are well positioned to create a significant amount of cap space in July.

Edwards identifies Sixers forward Tobias Harris as another veteran on an expiring contract who would be of interest to the Pistons, though Harris has played an important role in Philadelphia this season following James Harden‘s exit and seems unlikely to be traded unless it’s for an upgrade.

Losers of 22 consecutive games, the Pistons obviously aren’t looking to make a win-now move that will propel them to playoff contention this season. With that in mind, it may seem counterintuitive that they’d be interested in trading for players like Anunoby and Harris, who can become free agents in 2024.

However, if the Pistons were to acquire Anunoby, Harris, or someone else with a similar contract situation, the player’s Bird rights would be traded along with him, putting the Pistons in a strong position to extend or re-sign him.

Still, I’d be surprised if a lottery-bound team like Detroit is prepared to give up the sort of assets it would take to acquire an established impact player — the Pistons may be better off selling off some of their own veterans at this season’s deadline and taking the same approach next summer that Houston did this past offseason, adding vets in free agency instead of via trade.

View Comments (18)