OG Anunoby is ready to make his return to the Knicks

When the New York Knicks made the stunning trade for OG Anunoby, they knew they were getting a defensive anchor, and since arriving he has been one of their most valuable players. Not only is he on defense, but on offense they are much more dangerous when they have one of the best shooters in the league on the court, and his impressive wingspan can also create easy points at the rim. Anunoby should give the Knicks a nice tertiary option in their starting lineup as he continues to expect both Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo to create the majority of their offense.

Returning to the defensive side of the ball, he is clearly the Knicks’ best perimeter defender, but the aforementioned reach and length have made him a versatile option that he can also post down low. The Knicks have regressed heavily as a defense without Anunoby, but with him back and Isaiah Harteinstein remaining the excellent defensive presence he has been all season, the two could terrorize opposing defenses once again. The starting lineup isn’t fully back, as Julius Randle is still recovering from his shoulder injury, but the team is certainly stronger.

One question would be whether the Knicks would feel comfortable keeping the red-hot Josh Hart in the starting lineup and moving Precious Achiuwa to the second unit where he can provide defense and interior presence. Moving Hart to the second unit would be fine, but it’s a smaller lineup that could cause defensive issues given the troubles Bogdanovic and Burks have had since arriving in New York.