Why OG Anunoby Is The Perfect Lakers Trade Target
The Lakers have been linked to so many different players this season. Rob Pelinka and the front office pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire Rui Hachimura. However, they could still be in the mix for another deal. LA seems to be interested in players that can help now and in the long-term.
A player that would fit Pelinka's vision is Raptors forward OG Anunoby. Anunoby is one of the best two-way players in all of basketball. He can lockdown an opposing team’s best player while producing some offense on the other end.
The 25-year-old is having a career year, averaging 17/6/2 with a league-leading 2.1 steals per game. He is shooting 45.7% from the field and 36.6% from three.
In the modern NBA, wings are the most valuable position, and having an elite two-way player at that position is ideal. The Lakers' biggest need is at the wing position, despite making a move for Hachimura.
The Raptors reportedly will only listen to offers on OG Anunoby unless it mirrors a Dejounte Murray-like package including multiple unprotected first-round picks.— Evan Sidery (@esidery) January 17, 2023
Anunoby, Paul George and Jimmy Butler are the only wings averaging at least 15 points and 1.5 steals since 2020-21. https://t.co/wWqph2HpDI
It won’t come without a price, as the Raptors would want a “Dejounte Murray-like package” if they are to move on from him. The Spurs traded Murray in the offseason for three first-round picks, a pick swap, and a filler salary with Danilo Gallinari.
It could be possible for the LakeShow to acquire Anunoby with the right offer. Toronto sits in 12th place in the East at 23-28, and many of their players have been linked as gettable trade pieces.
League sources say that OG Anunoby isn’t happy in Toronto, per @RicBucher pic.twitter.com/T6t0KTOCNE— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 28, 2023
Pelinka and the front office would have to offer up their 2027, and 2029 unprotected first-round picks for Toronto even to consider moving Anunoby. They would also have to throw in Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker IV to match the salary.
Walker IV has played well for the Purple & Gold but is on a one-year deal. The Raptors could value Walker IV as he is a young player having a career year. Anunoby is under contract through next season with a player option for the 2024-25 season.
Anunoby fits Pelinka's plan to have a player who can make an impact now and for the franchise's future. He would slot in and be a perfect small forward alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
AD left LeBron hanging 😂 pic.twitter.com/NA4TW3k3Nz— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 26, 2023
Davis returned to action Wednesday, and with the West wide open, another win-now move could make them one of the best teams in the Conference.
Anunoby would also fit into Darvin Ham’s defensive system. Adding a player of Anunoby’s caliber at the wing position would give LA many different lineup combinations and improve their depth dramatically.
OG Anunoby with some great defense & a block on this quick offense iso by Dame #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/VWQ1iQ87RW— Mavs/Magic Draft (@MavsDraft) January 9, 2023
Anunoby checks off all the boxes for the Lakers; he defends among the best in the league, shoots the three at a solid clip, can be an excellent third or fourth scoring option, and is a young player who can make an impact now and in the long term.
It would give the team tremendous depth, as their starting lineup would be elite with a potent bench behind them.
If Pelinka can get a deal done for Anunoby, it would be well-worth parting with their two tradeable first-round picks.
I don’t believe the Lakers have enough picks to get this done