Report: Knicks touched base with Raptors about O.G. Anunoby before winning streak

Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, New York Knicks
Nov 1, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) controls the ball against Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) and guard Malachi Flynn (22) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are the hottest team in the Eastern Conference.

It seems like ages ago when the Knicks are teetering on the brink of a major shakeup. But Tom Thibodeau’s decision to shorten the rotation and go with the younger legs, which can spring surprises on defense, turned things around.

And now, the Knicks are riding high on a seven-game winning streak with a chance to extend it to eight Tuesday night against a hobbling Golden State Warriors without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins.

But before this big turnaround that saved a lot of people’s jobs at Two Penn Plaza, some sensed desperation that they reportedly checked in with the team across the border about O.G. Anunoby, who shot down rumors that he’s unhappy with his role with the Raptors.

“Before this winning streak, somebody over there [at the Knicks] touched base with Toronto on O.G. Anunoby and it was just a casual conversation. But I think when [the Knicks] were struggling, they were looking at those kinds of moves, those bigger moves to move the needle forward. But now after seven wins, assuming they kind of maintain this pace, I would assume that they are more aggressive on the Cam Reddishes, the Derrick Roses, the Evan Fourniers than they are on taking a big swing.”

SNY’s Ian Begley via The Lowe Post Podcast

The 25-year-old Anunoby is enjoying his finest season, leading the league in steals with 2.4 per game while averaging a career-high 18.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. He’s the prototypical Thibodeau-type player — a long wing who plays on both ends of the floor, a much bigger version of Quentin Grimes.

Anunoby has two more guaranteed years left on his current deal with a $19.9 million player option in the 2024-25 season.

But it seems the Raptors are not keen on trading him away, especially after Anunoby squashed the rumors of his discontent.

For what it’s worth, it will take a haul to pry him away from Canada.

“The entire league wants O.G. Anunoby. Everybody wants O.G. Anunoby. If he ever gets traded, the price and picks are going to surprise people because it might be on par almost with what the Cavs gave up for Donovan Mitchell. It’s going to be a lot if it ever happens.”

Zach Lowe via The Lowe Post Podcast

Now that things have stabilized in New York, should the Knicks still swing for the fences?

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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