Could the Knicks try and move Immanuel Quickley for Raptors’ star forward?

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Toronto Raptors, knicks, og anunoby
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have shown interest in enhancing their lineup, and Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby could be their next big acquisition. Here’s an in-depth look at why this move might happen and what it could mean for both teams.

Knicks’ Interest in Anunoby?

The Knicks have been linked to Anunoby several times this off-season. Despite Toronto’s reported demand for a significant haul in return, New York might be enticed by the 26-year-old forward.

Anunoby’s Profile

Coming off a solid season with the Raptors, Anunoby still shows more upside. He offers robust defense at an ideal age, averaging 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.9 steals last season. Furthermore, his shooting stats (.476 from the field with a .387 hit rate from three-point range) showcase his offensive capabilities.

Contract Considerations

Comparing contracts, Anunoby’s financials might align with New York’s vision. He’ll earn $18.6 million and have a player option for nearly $20 million for the 2024–25 season. If he continues performing well, Anunoby could reject that option, seeking an extension.

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Possible Trade Involving Immanuel Quickley

The Knicks may leverage young guard Immanuel Quickley, who could develop into a starting point guard.

Quickley’s Career Season

Quickley’s recent success might make him attractive for Toronto. He averaged 14.9 points, 3.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and shot .448 from the field and .370 from three-point range last season. Although Quickley might serve as a primary backup for the Knicks, he’s viewed as an essential catalyst, allowing other players to rest.

Contract Considerations

Quickley, earning $4.17 million this upcoming season, might soon be in line for a potentially huge payday. A similar deal could be offered to Anunoby, gaining the Knicks a better defender and regular starter.

Expert Opinions and Alternatives

An anonymous executive expressed that a trade involving Anunoby and Quickley would be mutually beneficial. Toronto’s roster’s current gaps might push them toward such a deal.

One executive told Heavy.com: “The Raptors would be a really good fit for (Quickley),” the exec said. “And the Knicks would be a really good fit for (OG) Anunoby. He’s just a monster defender. Things have been pretty quiet in Toronto but there is still a feeling that they’re going to make another move here after what happened with Fred. Maybe they will stick with what they have but that roster is missing a lot.

Toronto’s Preference

Toronto might prefer RJ Barrett over Quickley, possibly along with several first-round picks. However, this remains hypothetical.

Final Thoughts

Anunoby’s acquisition could significantly elevate the Knicks, especially given his 109.6 career defensive rating. The team lacked defensive tenacity and playoff scoring last year, which Anunoby could help improve.

The deal, however, remains speculative, with various potential outcomes. Both teams would carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks, and if all elements align, this acquisition could be one of the season’s standout trades. Only time will tell if the Knicks will indeed make this aggressive move, but Anunoby certainly fits the bill as an exciting prospect.