Blazers trade rumors: Portland still in running for O.G. Anunoby

O.G. Anunoby, Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
O.G. Anunoby, Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

In the midst of all the drama of the past few days – Kyrie Irving’s trade to Dallas; the Lakers, Jazz, Timberwolves three-team blockbuster; and Kevin Durant’s move to Phoenix – the original trade deadline rumor hub, the Toronto Raptors, have taken a backseat.

Toronto acquired Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs in a deviation from what team president Masai Ujiri was expected to do: sell.

Before Irving and Durant were traded, Raptors’ wing O.G. Anunoby was the hottest name in the rumor mill. After both players were sent packing to another destination, though, Anunoby will likely jump back in as the deadline’s most prized remaining asset.

And according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Trail Blazers are still involved in that conversation and have assets reportedly attractive to some in Toronto.

Don’t count the Portland Trail Blazers out of the O.G. Anunoby sweepstakes yet

With the aforementioned deals going down, Anunoby’s trade market has been evolving. The Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, and even Sacramento Kings have reported interest.

But, according to HoopsHype:

"The Raptors like Canadian native Shaedon Sharpe from afar, and Anfernee Simons also has fans in Toronto."

The report does go on to say that the Blazers see Sharpe as a potential all-star and are “reluctant to part with the high-flying rookie sensation.” Simons, meanwhile, is averaging a career-high 21.8 points per game and has morphed into Damian Lillard’s backcourt running mate.

It would be difficult to part with either, let alone both.

But with Anunoby’s price fluctuating by the trade and seemingly by the hour, maybe some combination of Simons and future first-round picks could be enough.

Portland added a 2023 protected first-rounder from the New York Knicks in the Josh Hart trade, so general manager Joe Cronin has that at his disposal as additional trade ammo. The Blazers’ own first-round pick is currently tied up in protections until 2028, but removing those protections could send that selection to the Chicago Bulls this offseason, giving Portland the freedom to trade any first-round pick beginning in 2025.

Perhaps if they could hold onto Sharpe in this hypothetical deal, the Blazers would be less reluctant to part with a possible lottery pick this summer.

For what it’s worth, Anunoby would be an ideal fit in Portland as a long, strong, athletic on-ball defender. He’s able to guard up or down, 1-5 at times, and would give the Blazers a massive bump defensively as soon as his feet hit the ground in Portland.

He’s also improved enough offensively to the point that he could be a third option next to Lillard and Jerami Grant. He’s averaging nearly 17 points and is shooting 36.6 percent from three on more than five attempts per game (to go along with his 2.1 steals per night).

The $18.6 million owed to him next season is also extremely team friendly.

With only hours to go until the noon PT deadline, there is sure to be a blaze of activity around the NBA. If Portland wants to aim big and add Anunoby to its core, it appears Cronin has the assets that it would take for the Raptors to part with their star wing.

Next. ESPN's Lowe: Trail Blazers a 'wildcard' at the trade deadline. dark