Despite being embroiled in a unique legal situation involving a former Knicks staff member who switched from New York to Toronto and allegedly stole 3,000 confidential files of proprietary information, including video scouting reports and play frequency files, the rival Atlantic division teams have struck a major mid-season trade.
As part of the deal, the Raptors will be giving up fan favourite O.G Anunoby in exchange for Canadian NBA standout RJ Barrett from the New York Knicks.
Additionally, the Raptors also acquired point guard Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second-round draft pick (Detroit Pistons) as part of the deal. In return, Toronto sent Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the Knicks.
Masai Ujiri, the Toronto Raptors President, expressed his enthusiasm in welcoming Quickley and Barrett to their team.
“We are excited to welcome Immanuel and RJ to our team. RJ is a versatile wing who is well-known in his hometown, and seeing him in a Raptors uniform will be a special moment for our fans and all Canadians. It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially when players like OG and Malachi have spent their careers with our team. We wish Precious, Malachi and OG all the best.”
With Anunoby traded to New York and Fred VanVleet granted his wish to secure the biggest bag possible, Pascal Siakam and Chris Boucher are now the last remaining players from the Raptors’ 2019 championship team. However, according to multiple reports, Toronto’s front office is actively exploring trade options for both Siakam, a former two-time NBA All-Star, and Boucher, a Montreal native.
Barrett spent five seasons with the Knicks, playing in 297 games. He averaged 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 42.2% from the field, 34.2% from three-pointers, and 72% from the foul line.
Drafted by the Raptors in the first round (23rd pick) of the 2017 NBA Draft, Anunoby spent six seasons in Toronto, making an immediate impact as a defender in his rookie season. He became an integral part of the Raptors’ lone championship team and an untradeable piece in Ujiri’s negotiations.
The six-foot-eight Anunoby played 395 games, averaging 14.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He shot 47.3% from the field, 37.5% from three-point range, and 74.2% from the free-throw line.
At 23 years old, Barrett, a former No. 3 pick, is the second-highest Canadian NBA Draft selection to have joined the franchise.
Barrett joins an elite group of only eight Canadians who have donned the Raptors jersey, including Jamaal Magloire, Cory Joseph, former number one-pick Anthony Bennett, undrafted Boucher, Oshae Brissett, Khem Birch, and second-rounder Dalano Banton.