The NBA landscape was stunned Saturday afternoon when the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors agreed to a trade that sent OG Anunoby (as well as reserves Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn) to Manhattan in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a second – round stone.
On paper, the move should help the Knicks (17-14) resolve many of the issues they faced in the early stages of the 2023-24 season, particularly those that arose with the potential injury to Mitchell Robinson. Anunoby is a better defender than Barrett and is a more consistent long-range shooter. His numbers in Toronto may not have jumped out at you, but he’s the type of player who could be instrumental in a deep playoff run.
Barrett (23) and Quickley (24) are two players who have shown talent in their years in New York. The former, for example, became the youngest Knicks to average 20 points in a single season during the 2021-22 season. The idea that five years is enough time to evaluate whether you have a good player or not should be solid, but that’s not always the case when that player, especially an early draft pick like Barrett, is still under 25.