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.

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