The Portland Trail Blazers aren’t done. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Blazers are pursuing a deal for Toronto Raptors SF OG Anunoby for the No. 7 overall pick in Thursday’s draft. The Blazers just acquired SF Jerami Grant from the Detroit Pistons for a 2025 first-rounder.
Portland is going all the way in. Grant and Anunoby are pretty big plays prior to the draft to try and make PG Damian Lillard happy. The Blazers had to let go of CJ McCollum during the 2021-22 season to dump salary, acquiring few pieces in the deal. This is apparently Portland’s play. Surrounding Dame with a few good perimeter defenders who are versatile and can shoot the ball. Is Lillard, Grant and OG enough to get you over the hump? Probably not. The Blazers will need to do a little more work on the roster. Does this get Portland back in the postseason? Probably.
What is appealing is Anunoby’s contract. He’s signed through the 2023-24 season with a player option for 2024-25. That gives you a few seasons to figure things out while you have a fringe All-Star at under $20 million per season. Chances are if OG plays up to par and stays healthy, he’ll opt out in 2024. Portland wouldn’t be committed long-term, which gives the team a bit of cap flexibility while maintaining competitiveness.
The Blazers clearly value OG over whoever they could pick at No. 7 overall. Our latest Mock Draft at DraftKings Nation had the Blazers taking Arizona G Bennedict Mathurin. Shaedon Sharpe, Jalen Duren and AJ Griffin were a few other names in that draft range. There’s some upside to some of these guards in 2022. Chances are this won’t come back and look like a terrible move. We also could see McCollum and the Pelicans first-rounder at No. 8 going up against Dame in the playoffs. Who knows.
Oh yeah, let’s not forget about the Raptors. Toronto gets to add another young lottery pick to Scottie Barnes. The Raptors are continuing to show you the blueprint for maintaining sustenance in the NBA. The Raptors also have a pretty decent track record drafting and scouting players like OG, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Chris Boucher and Barnes among others. You still have Siakam, FVV and Barnes and now you can add another guard or wing to replace Anunoby.