Knicks acquire OG Anunoby from Raptors in blockbuster for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, 2nd-rounder

OG Anunoby Knicks
Dec 23, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) dunks for a basket against the Utah Jazz in the first half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks picked up one of their most sought-after targets on Saturday, acquiring small forward OG Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors for a package that includes RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round draft pick via the Detroit Pistons, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

Anunoby had long been on the Knicks’ radar as a well-rounded, efficient scorer who adds defensive bite for a Tom Thibodeau-led side predicated on defense. 

The 26-year-old has averaged 16.4 points per game since the start of the 2021-22 season with 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.6 steals. He was the NBA’s steals champion last season, averaging 1.9 swipes per game while earning All-Defense honors. This season, he’s shooting a shade under 61% from the field, which includes a 37.4% showing from three-point range.

It’s a significant gamble taken by the Knicks to acquire the forward. He is signed through the remainder of this season and has a player option worth $19.9 million for next season — one he will likely opt out of to test the waters of free agency to earn a larger payday. New York team president Leon Rose, though, now has an opportunity to start negotiating a new deal immediately rather than competing with the rest of the league on the open market this summer. 

RJ Barrett Knicks
Dec 29, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) drives to the basket against Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner (22) during the first quarter at KIA Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto’s return is a sizable one. Barrett gets the opportunity to return home to his native Canada after a slight regression over the past three seasons in New York. The third-overall pick at the 2019 draft averaged 21 points per game in the 2021-22 campaign, but he struggled to find his consistency as the Knicks’ roster became crowded with more primary offensive options — specifically when Jalen Brunson teamed up with Julius Randle to shoulder the bulk of the team’s attack. 

Quickley, on the other hand, continues his ascent as one of the more dynamic young guards in the league. As the team’s sixth man, he was averaging a career-best 15 points per game this season while shooting 39.5% from three-point range. 

The Knicks are also getting center Precious Achiuwa in the deal, which was a necessary get after Mitchell Robinson was deemed done for the season after undergoing ankle surgery earlier this month. The 24-year-old, who attended Our Savior Lutheran in the Bronx and St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, NJ, is averaging 7.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and a half-block in 17.5 minutes per night.

Immanuel Quickley Knicks
Nov 26, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) celebrates after the Phoenix Suns call a timeout in the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

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