Malachi Flynn

Central Notes: Green, Bulls, Ball, Mitchell, Bucks, Flynn

In his first game after signing a rest-of-season contract that made him eligible for the postseason, Bulls swingman Javonte Green had the best performance of his career in Friday’s victory against the Knicks, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

The 30-year-old finished with careers highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 10-of-14 from the floor while contributing a pair of steals and a block in 33 minutes.

He’s one of those guys you want to have on your team,” DeMar DeRozan said of Green. “For him to bounce back in a tough year for him just trying to get back healthy and for him to be doing what he’s been doing since he came back is amazing. We all know what to expect from Woo. Every time he goes out there, he plays like he’s 6-9 and he does anything and whatever for the team. … He’s one of a kind. I’m glad to have him back.”

While Green provided a much-needed boost and a feel-good story, the win was marred due to ankle injuries to Coby White and Alex Caruso, who both left the game and were unable to return, Johnson adds. The two starters were able to walk on their own after the game and seemed to be in “good spirits,” though head coach Billy Donovan said the team would have to await further testing to learn the extent of the injuries.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Appearing on 670 The Score (YouTube link), LaVar Ball — the father of injured Bulls guard Lonzo Ball — projected his son could start playing 5-on-5 with full contact in August or September, as Ryan Taylor of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “I’m thinking at least four or five months. Four or five months where he can really get dialed and do what he do,” LaVar said. That projection aligns with what Donovan said about Lonzo’s recovery last month, Taylor notes. Ball, who hasn’t played since January 2022, has undergone three knee surgeries over the past two-plus years, but the team is cautiously optimistic he could return next season.
  • If the Cavaliers fail to make a deep playoff run and Donovan Mitchell declines a contract extension, would they entertain the possibility of trading him this summer? Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores that topic, listing five potential landing spots for the All-Star guard if Cleveland goes that route.
  • The Bucks were expected to be a title contender, and they’re still (barely) clinging to the No. 2 seed in the East. However, they’ve been playing their worst basketball of the season at the absolute worst time, dropping five of their past six games, including three straight to Washington, Memphis and Toronto — three teams at the bottom of the standings — with only five regular season games remaining, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic. After Friday’s loss to the Raptors, who had dropped 15 straight games, Bucks players said they’re not panicking, but they’re frustrated, as is their head coach. “The last three were against three bad teams. To me, that’s inexcusable. For all of us,” said Doc Rivers, who is now just 15-16 with Milwaukee since taking over mid-season. “As I told them, this is on me. I gotta figure out what we gotta do to play at a higher pace.”
  • Pistons guard Malachi Flynn has averaged 5.4 points on .386/.337/.749 shooting in 208 career regular season games (14.2 MPG). He had one of the most unexpected 50-point games in NBA history on Wednesday, shooting 18-of-25 from the floor while being plus-14 in 34 minutes in an eight-point loss to Atlanta. In Friday’s loss to Memphis, the former 29th overall pick fell back to Earth, notes John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link), going 0-of-12 from the field and scoring three points (all at the free throw line) while being minus-13 in 23 minutes. If Detroit issues him a qualifying offer, Flynn will be a restricted free agent this summer; otherwise, he’ll be unrestricted.

Central Notes: Lillard, Giannis, Craig, Cade, Flynn, Mitchell

Damian Lillard will be back in action for the Bucks on Friday vs. Toronto after missing the last three games due to personal reasons and an adductor strain, tweets Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT. Lillard will be looking to help Milwaukee get back on track after a pair of ugly losses this week to lottery-bound teams (the Wizards and Grizzlies).

As Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes, during Wednesday’s loss to the Grizzlies, Giannis Antetokounmpo was dealing with what the Bucks are calling left hamstring tendinopathy and didn’t look like his usual explosive self en route to 21 points on 10-of-23 shooting. He’s listed as doubtful to play in Friday’s game.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • One reason why the Bulls signed Javonte Green for the rest of the season is a belief that Torrey Craig‘s knee still isn’t 100%, even though the veteran wing hasn’t missed a game in nearly a month. “I’m not a doctor, but I do know he has stiffness,” head coach Billy Donovan said of Craig, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “To me, he’s just not himself. That doesn’t mean he isn’t cleared to play. He is, and he wants to play, as well. Going back to the plantar fasciitis [from earlier in the season] and then the knee injury over All-Star break, he’s not moving the way he was before those things. He’s just not.”
  • Pistons guard Cade Cunningham hasn’t gotten any real buzz for this season’s Most Improved Player award, but does he have a case for consideration? James L. Edwards III of The Athletic explores that topic, laying out the argument for Cunningham as MIP.
  • Although it came in a loss, Malachi Flynn‘s 50-point outburst on Wednesday was a feel-good moment for a Pistons team that hasn’t had many of them and for a player who has had a tough season, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required). A former first-round pick, Flynn has played for three teams in his contract year and has struggled to carve out consistent minutes for any of those clubs. “We’re all super happy for him because we all know what he’s had to go through,” Evan Fournier said. “I don’t want to say we wouldn’t give a (expletive) if it was Cade, but it wouldn’t be the same. The fact that it’s Malachi adds more to the story, I think.”
  • Following a loss to Phoenix on Wednesday, Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell spoke about the issues he’s having getting past a nagging knee ailment and his desire to have it get “1% better every day” in order to be ready to go for the playoffs. Chris Fedor of has the story and the quotes from Mitchell.

Pistons Notes: Flynn, Nowell, Weaver, Williams, Fontecchio, Wiseman, Grimes

Pistons guard Malachi Flynn became the unlikeliest player to score 50 points in a game this season, coming off the bench to reach that mark in Wednesday’s loss at Atlanta, writes James L. Edwards of The Athletic. It was an out of character scoring explosion for Flynn, who came into the night averaging 5.8 PPG in 17 games with Detroit since being acquired from New York at the trade deadline.

“It’s tougher to put (in perspective) because you want to win. But it definitely feels good,” Flynn said. “I think in a couple days I’ll be able to put it into perspective.” Flynn added that it’s been a long time since he’s come close to 50 points, telling reporters, “I almost did in high school. I had 49 and my coach took me out. I still have a grudge.”

Flynn played 34 minutes and shot 18-of-25 from the field, 5-of-9 from three-point range and 9-of-12 from the foul line. His outburst set a franchise record for the most points by a reserve and fell one short of the NBA record held by Jamal Crawford. Flynn will be a free agent this summer, and the Pistons can make him restricted with a $5.8MM qualifying offer.

There’s more on the Pistons:

  • Jaylen Nowell‘s 10-day contract makes him the 31st player on the roster this season, which ties an NBA record set by this year’s Grizzlies, per Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. With the team experiencing numerous injuries, Nowell may get a shot at consistent playing time. “I expect him to come in and try to acclimate,” coach Monty Williams said. “He’s a guy that’s scored in segments of his career. I watched him in Minnesota a little bit, and had to scout against him. We know he can score the ball. He’s been around. I don’t want to put it out there what we want from him, we just feel like guys like that, who are hungry and looking for opportunities, allow for us to have more bodies with all the guys we’ve lost this year. But it’s also a chance for a guy to come in and help us win games.”
  • The Pistons’ nightmarish season raises questions about general manager Troy Weaver’s future with the franchise, Edwards states in a mailbag column. While he admits any outcome is possible, Edwards’ guess is that Weaver will remain with the team, but a president of basketball operations will be hired to make final decisions on personnel. Edwards also isn’t convinced that Williams will return, even though he signed a record-setting six-year, $78.5MM contract last summer.
  • Of the Pistons’ potential restricted free agents, Simone Fontecchio is likely to be back next season, but James Wiseman may not return and Flynn likely won’t, Edwards adds. Fontecchio has been impressive since being acquired from Utah at the deadline, and Edwards sees him as part of the team’s future unless he’s needed for a major trade. Edwards notes that the front office gave Wiseman numerous opportunities, but he hasn’t produced the way they’d hoped. He’s headed for free agency, and it will take a $7.7MM qualifying offer to make him restricted.
  • Edwards also isn’t certain about Quentin Grimes‘ future with the Pistons. Grimes, who is under contract for $4.3MM next season, had a knee injury when he was acquired from the Knicks and only appeared in six games with Detroit. He should return, Edwards writes, but that’s not a lock, especially if someone besides Weaver is calling the shots.

Pistons Notes: Williams, Rotation, Wiseman, Grimes

The Pistons went 11 deep into their rotation through the first 13 minutes of their Thursday loss to the Pacers. According to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, it felt like Detroit was auditioning for players who might be on next season’s roster, even though coach Monty Williams denied that was the case a day earlier.

I’m not going to be throwing combinations on the floor to just be looking at certain combinations,” Williams said Wednesday. “We’re done with that, in my opinion. We’re trying to develop guys, for sure, but we’re going to try and win every game we can so that we can create what we feel [will give us momentum] going into the summer.

In Edwards’ view, it doesn’t feel like there’s much synergy with the rotations Williams is putting on the floor. If the team is prioritizing winning, Edwards writes, it doesn’t make sense that James Wiseman is earning minutes over Mike Muscala and there’s been no staggering the minutes of franchise guards Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. But it doesn’t feel like development is the priority in the rotation either, according to Edwards, because rookie Marcus Sasser played fewer minutes than Evan Fournier and Malachi Flynn.

The deep rotations and new faces are making it difficult for any consistency to develop in Detroit and too many minutes are being given to players who might not be on the roster next season, Edwards writes.

In response to questions surrounding his 11-man rotation on Thursday, Williams explained that he told the coaches he’d prefer to run with about nine rotation players but Sasser bumped his knee and that’s why he ended up using Flynn more (Twitter link via Omari Sankofa II of Detroit Free Press).

We have more Pistons notes:

  • Williams also explained his decision to play Wiseman over Muscala (Twitter link via Sankofa). “I like what he’s giving us, especially on the defensive side,” Williams said of the former No. 2 overall pick. According to Sankofa, Williams said that the rim protection Wiseman provides is more important when smaller guards like Sasser and Flynn are on the floor.
  • Wiseman is hoping to shed the bust label he picked up after being traded away for a modest return at the 2023 deadline after he was drafted second overall in 2020, according to FOX Sports’ Melissa Rohlin. “I believe I can be a great player,” Wiseman said. His career has been derailed by a combination of injuries, illness and a lack of NBA preparedness, Rohlin writes.
  • Quentin Grimes, acquired by the Pistons at the deadline, is listed as probable ahead of their Saturday matchup against Orlando, according to Sankofa (Twitter link). Grimes hasn’t played since being traded due to a right knee sprain, but averaged 8.6 points per game while connecting on 37.9% of his three-pointers in his first three seasons in the league.

Pistons Owner Expresses Support For GM Troy Weaver

Pistons owner Tom Gores expressed confidence in general manager Troy Weaver during a session with reporters Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. There has been speculation that Weaver may be replaced amid a historically bad start to the season, but Gores didn’t provide any indication that he’s considering such a move.

“I think we just came together and the first thing we did is take accountability for the mistakes we made,” Gores responded when asked about Weaver. “As an organization, you really can’t go forward until you acknowledge what didn’t work. That was the first thing. And being honest about that provides you the future. If you don’t look in your past for a little bit and what was right and what was wrong, it’s very hard to go to the future. We did that along the process. I have confidence in Troy. I have confidence. We leaned on each other through this process, but we also didn’t avoid the idea of what were we accountable for? It gave us a pathway to go forward.”

The Pistons still have the league’s worst record at 8-44 after losing to the Clippers today, but Sankofa points out that they have been more competitive recently, going 5-8 since acquiring Mike Muscala and the recently waived Danilo Gallinari from Washington last month. The roster shakeup continued at Thursday’s deadline as Detroit added six new players — Simone Fontecchio, Troy Brown Jr., Shake Milton, Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier and Malachi Flynn — while parting with veteran shooters Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, among others.

“We needed to mix up our formation,” Gores explained. “We had to let a few of our players go, all good men. Bojan and Burks contributed a lot to our Pistons. We just needed to change it up a bit and create some more pace-and-space for our young guys. As you know from Troy, we were at it working all last week, so we just needed to, for the sake of the team, let the young guys fly free.”

Today marked Gores’ first public comments on the team since late December when he promised fans that changes were going to be made. In today’s media session, Gores told reporters that he was involved in the process “almost every day.”

“The first month after that, I did a lot of it on a couple days of Zooms and calls and all that stuff,” Gores said. “Over the last 10 days, the team will tell you, Troy will tell you, we had a lot of all-nighters and up really late just making sure we make the right decision for this team. It’s a pivotal moment and you have to know when it’s pivotal. For us, it was important to get the right makeup and I thought we made pretty good moves. We also have a lot of cap space now in the summer, and we gained some good players.”

Gores added that he learned a lot about coach Monty Williams and people throughout the organization by watching how they responded in difficult times. He also indicated that several of Thursday’s additions could be in the Pistons’ long-term plans.

“This is just the beginning, and it’s our responsibility to do this,” Gores said. “We have to learn from what didn’t work, so we have to take that forward now. As I told the team and front office and everyone else that if we don’t win from our losses, then what are we doing? We have to be better because of our losses, and that’s our opportunity.”

Pistons Trade Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks To Knicks

3:09pm: The trade is official, per announcements from the Pistons and Knicks.

The two second-rounders headed to Detroit in the deal will be 2028 and 2029 picks, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. Those picks will be New York’s own, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.

The Pistons didn’t officially announce any cuts in their press release, but previous reporting indicated they’re waiving Killian Hayes, Joe Harris, and the newly acquired Danuel House. Arcidiacono will likely also be released after being acquired from New York, per James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

10:27am: The Pistons and Knicks are finalizing a trade that will send Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to New York in exchange for Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono, and two second-round picks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Bogdanovic (41.5%) and Burks (40.1%) are two strong three-point shooters who will help bolster New York’s rotation, particularly when it comes to scoring and spacing the floor. Burks, 32, is an impending unrestricted free agent, while Bogdanovic’s $19MM salary for 2024/25 is only partially guaranteed for $2MM.

However, as Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets, the Knicks are expected to fully guarantee Bogdanovic’s contract for next season, possibly to flip him to a new team in the summer or during the ’24/25 season. Burks, meanwhile, was favorite of head coach Tom Thibodeau during his first stint in New York from 2020-22, Katz observes (via Twitter).

Once the deal is official, the Knicks will have two open roster spots and will be about $2.5MM below the luxury tax threshold, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. They’ll have plenty of flexibility to sign players on the buyout market, Marks observes, since they’re well below the first tax apron.

Flynn cannot be aggregated with other salaries in a trade, but the outgoing contracts of Grimes, Fournier and Arcidiacono are just enough to cover the money owed to Bogdanovic and Burks. That means the Knicks will create a traded player exception worth $3,873,025, which is Flynn’s cap hit.

According to Ian Begley of SNY.TV (Twitter link), the Knicks were motivated to add depth on the wing in part due to concern over OG Anunoby‘s right elbow injury. As Begley notes, New York recently changed Anunoby’s injury status from elbow inflammation to bone spur irritation. Anunoby has missed the past five games with the injury and will miss his sixth straight contest tonight against Dallas.

As for the Pistons, they’ve been extremely active leading up to the 2:00pm CT deadline, and they will need to cut two players to complete this trade.

James Edwards III of The Athletic hears rival teams were unwilling to meet Detroit’s asking price for Bogdanovic, and the Pistons felt Grimes was more valuable than any picks being offered (Twitter link). According to Edwards, the Knicks “have been unwilling to trade firsts to any team,” with New York likely saving its draft arsenal to chase a star player in the future.

That reporting suggests the trade, from Detroit’s perspective, could be viewed as Bogdanovic for Grimes, with Burks netting two second-round picks.

Grimes, 23, is in the third season of his rookie scale contract, and was reportedly open to a change of scenery after having his role reduced in 2023/24. He showed plenty of 3-and-D upside last season, however, averaging 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists while frequently defending opposing teams’ top perimeter scorers. He’ll make $4.3MM next season and will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the 2024 offseason.

While Grimes was a regular contributor for New York, Fournier, Flynn and Arcidiacono hardly played at all for the Knicks. Fournier has been openly seeking a trade for well over a year — his wish was finally granted, but it’s unclear if he’ll have a role for the Pistons. They’ll hold a $19MM team option on his contract for next season, which could be useful for salary-matching purposes in the future, if they decide to retain him.

Knicks Notes: Anunoby, Flynn, Sims, McBride, Gibson

OG Anunoby had a rough shooting night Friday in Philadelphia, but his defensive impact showed why the Knicks were determined to acquire him, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Anunoby guarded everyone from Joel Embiid to Tyrese Maxey as New York limited the Sixers to 40.7% from the field, and the Knicks outscored Philadelphia by 20 points in his 37 minutes on the court.

“I think we have a good core that’s been together for a while now. So I think that can absorb people coming in and then a guy like OG is very serious,” coach Tom Thibdoeau said. “He wants to do well, and I think his mind is open. He plays incredibly hard on every possession, so even if it’s not perfect right now, it’s still gonna be good.”

The Knicks have won their first three games since last weekend’s trade, and Anunoby has played a significant role in all of them. His scoring is down slightly and he’s only connecting at 46.9% from the field since coming to New York after Friday’s 3-of-11 performance, but he’s finding other ways to make a difference.

“Your hustle can make up for a lot. And that’s really what he’s doing,” Thibodeau added. “And each day, he’ll get better and better and guys are starting to figure him out, as well. So that takes a little bit of time. But help where you can, hustle, be in passing lanes, get deflections, help out on the boards, play physical, run the floor, move without the ball. Those are things that he does great. And then as time goes on, he’ll find more places where he can get scoring opportunities, too.” 

There’s more from New York:

  • Malachi Flynn, who was also acquired in the Anunoby deal, made his Knicks debut on Friday night, playing just one minute at the end of the game, Bondy adds. Flynn is considered “situational,” which Bondy notes is a word Thibodeau uses to describe players who aren’t in his rotation. Jericho Sims played two minutes Friday, having been bumped from the rotation when New York acquired Precious Achiuwa from Toronto.
  • Miles McBride, who is hoping to establish himself as the team’s new primary back-up point guard, had his best performance since the trade in Friday’s win, per Steve Popper of Newsday. This is McBride’s first opportunity at regular minutes in his three-year career. “I think what I bring to the table is a great thing for the team,” he said. “I think I can push the pace. I can obviously knock down shots and on the defensive end, really get stops and just keep the team positive and be a leader out there.”
  • Thibodeau would be open to making Taj Gibson an assistant coach when the 38-year-old big man is done with his playing career, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

New York Notes: Knicks, Towns, Simmons, Walker, Nets

While Sam Vecenie of The Athletic recently said he views the Knicks/Raptors trade as the “Immanuel Quickley trade” rather than the “OG Anunoby trade,” he likes what Anunoby will bring to New York.

According to Vecenie, Anunoby is one of a select few players who can credibly defend all five positions on the court. That defensive versatility, plus his ability to convert threes and make timely cuts, has made Anunoby a “great role player.” The question is if he can develop more on offense, Vecenie writes.

As Vecenie details, while Anunoby has an impressive physical profile and uses it very effectively on defense, he can look a little awkward on offense when given on-ball opportunities, as he doesn’t finish well in the paint and doesn’t have a reliable pull-up jump shot.

Still, Vecenie believes Anunoby has the potential to be “the third-best player on a title team” if he’s in the right situation, and there’s a reason so many teams wanted him. Vecenie also examines what Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn will bring to New York.

Here’s more from the two New York-based teams:

  • On Run It Back (Twitter video link), Shams Charania of The Athletic suggested the Knicks will “always” have interest in Karl-Anthony Towns, who presumably won’t be going anywhere this season, as Minnesota has the best record in the Western Conference. Towns’ former agent is Leon Rose, New York’s current president of basketball operations.
  • Even after dealing away Quickley, RJ Barrett and the Pistons’ 2024 second-rounder, there are people within the Knicks who think they have the requisite remaining assets to land a star player, according to Ian Begley of As Begley writes, the Knicks could trade up to four of their own future first-round picks, plus some protected picks from other teams.
  • Multiple sources tell Brian Lewis of The New York Post that Ben Simmons is “progressing well” in his recovery from a nerve impingement in his lower back, and he’s expected to be cleared to play 2-on-2 when the Nets return home on Thursday. Simmons would then play 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 before possibly being ready to return, Lewis writes. Simmons has been sidelined since November 6. As for Lonnie Walker, who has missed the past 16 games with a hamstring injury, he could return for Friday’s contest against OKC, Lewis adds.
  • They Nets are spiraling down the standings, having lost four straight and nine of their past 11 games, with the two victories against Detroit. Tuesday’s loss to New Orleans marked a new low point, Lewis writes for The New York Post. Mikal Bridges said the team took its foot off the gas pedal. “We got punched in the mouth and just sat back,” Bridges said. “We didn’t keep going forward after. And that’s on players, right there. It’s going to be like that. They might make a run … you’ve got to have accountability on ourselves to get back up and fight, and besides just lay down. Like I said, I’ve got to do better just personally being more vocal and be more physical and being on both ends. You just can’t let up.”

Knicks Notes: Fournier, Anunoby, Achiuwa, Flynn, Defense, McBride

As Knicks players became aware of the team’s trade with Toronto Saturday morning, Evan Fournier grabbed his phone to see if he was involved, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Fournier has been stuck in limbo for about a year, seeing little playing time as he’s kept outside coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation, but still valuable because of an $18MM expiring contract that could be useful for salary matching in a major deal.

Fournier explained to Popper that he’s not looking for a way out of New York, but when he heard about the Raptors deal he wanted to know if he was part of it.

“Well, the thing is the way I learned it, I think it said it was a trade package surrounding RJ,” Fournier said. “So of course you see that, you’re like, ‘Oh.’ You check your phone and stuff. I sleep well at night. I don’t check my phone to see if there’s a trade or anything. I just focus in on the moment because that’s the business.”

There’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks will host Minnesota Monday afternoon, so some of the players acquired from Toronto might be in the lineup without practicing with their new team, Popper adds. “I don’t know what the logistics of everything are yet,” Thibodeau said. “But whatever it is, we just gotta find a way.” New York is listing Malachi Flynn as out for tomorrow with a right ankle injury, tweets Ian Begley of, but OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa aren’t on the injury report.
  • The Knicks’ need for a defensive presence like Anunoby was evident in Saturday’s loss at Indiana, observes Peter Botte of The New York Post. New York surrendered 140 points overall and 76 in the second half while dropping its third straight game. “Just as simple as I can: terrible,” Jalen Brunson said. “We can do a lot better defensively. Offensively, it is not a problem right now. I can be better defensively. We can be better defensively. We just need to step it up on that side of the ball.”
  • Miles McBride can’t be traded for six months after signing his new extension, Begley points out (Twitter link). Begley’s sources confirm that McBride’s new deal is front-loaded and that his salary will decline each season.

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.