3 Stars for Thunder to go after in free agency this summer

Paul George and James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George and James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages
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No. 3: OG Anunoby

The New York Knicks set their sights on a player on the trade market who didn't fit the billing of the "superstar" they are often chasing, but who did fit their roster perfectly, in large part because he fits nearly every roster perfectly. They traded for Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby and promptly went on a winning streak and shot up the Eastern Conference standings.

Anunoby is one of the best defensive players in the NBA, full-stop. He is fast, agile, long and strong, the ideal combination for a perimeter defender. He can stay in front of faster guards while bodying up to combo forwards like LeBron James or former teammate Kawhi Leonard. He also is springy enough to serve as a weakside rim protector, rotating down to swat away shots in the paint.

What makes Anunoby so valuable is that he also is a solid outside shooter, hitting 37.6 percent for his career and 39.1 percent since joining the New York Knicks. He is able to handle the ball enough to execute small actions or push in transition. He isn't a star, but he is one of the very best players in the league to pair with stars.

Anunoby would be an incredibly seamless fit with the Thunder's core of players. He and Jalen Williams could play the two forward positions in front of Chet Holmgren, with OG taking the more formidable defensive assignments and Williams taking more of the offensive load. His defense would allow the Thunder to play someone like Isaiah Joe more minutes, and he has enough size and strength to even slide to center in smallball lineups.

Is Anunoby likely to be gettable this summer? That's more of the question, as it's very likely the Knicks have already worked out a (quiet) agreement to re-sign him this summer. His agent's father runs the Knicks' front office, after all. Still, nothing is official until a new contract is signed, and if something were to change the Thunder should be at the front of the line to secure his services.