Could the OKC Thunder be the mystery team for OG Anunoby

O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

It is the NBA Trade Deadline season! Everyone get to your battle stations, open up Twitter, and doom scroll for hours from now until February 9th clinging to every cryptic source’s tweet. The Oklahoma City Thunder find themselves in an unexpected position of being on the cusp of the NBA Playoffs as they sit at 23-24. One player on the table this deadline season is Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby.

The one constant in this rebuild has been OKC Thunder general manager Sam Presti preaching patience. At every turn, Presti drops lines about not being in a race against time, not trying to accelerate the rebuild, and attempting to build a sustained winner which takes time despite their recent run of success.

Could the Oklahoma City Thunder be the mystery team that shakes up the 2022-23 NBA Trade Deadline to jump in on the OG Anunoby sweepstakes?

The Toronto Raptors have been the story of the NBA season when it comes to trade discussions. Off to a sluggish 21-27 record, and speculation is running rampant around the team dismantling the core of Fred Van Vleet and OG Anunoby.

While it is unclear if the Raptors would part with Anunoby, a 25-year-old wing with great length, defense, and that is shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc.  The Raptors wing shoots 44 percent in the corner from three according to cleaning the glass. There is a lot of smoke around this potential rumor.

Synergy grades Anunoby as a good offensive player, ranking him in the 52nd percentile in points per possession, and on the defensive end, he has seen his grade slide to “average” according to Synergy after being tabbed as “good” and in the 64th percentile last season.

So when there is a report that a mystery team is offering three first-round picks for the Raptors wing everyone speculates it is Sam Presti who has a trick up his sleeve to add to this roster. However, that is seemingly just based on the fact that OKC sits on a mountain of draft picks.

However, the deeper you look into the possibility, the more unlikely it seems. On top of going against everything Presti has preached to this point, Anunoby would be playing a similar role in OKC that he has reportedly grown discontent within Toronto, and there is only one pathway to make this move work.

On top of giving away three of your future first-round picks, which would not be as costly to the Thunder as it would to other teams considering they own four picks in a perceived weak 2024 NBA Draft that they could not possibly use as they would not have the roster spots to foster all those prospects, you would have to include Lu Dort.

Given the current salary cap situation, with the dead money for Kemba Walker (27.4), JaMychal Green (5.5), and David Nwaba (5) not rolling off the books until the summer, the only way to make an OG Anunoby trade work within the season would be to ship off the defensive menace.

Then, after making this potential deal, you have to extend OG Anunoby (you are giving up too many resources not to), by the 2024 offseason given his player option that he will likely opt out of to earn a new deal.

All the while, making this move before you even see how your prized draft pick, Chet Holmgren, plays on an NBA floor. The recent winning ways have been awesome, and I still believe this team will play in the postseason, but as Sam Presti has preached the fanbase must be patient at least for a few more months.

Next. Chet Holmgren shows his maturity in recent comments. dark