MASAI FINALLY DOES IT

2024-01-01 · 3 min read · NBA/Basketball
Toronto Raptors

Frank Gunn/AP | NBA.com

After nearly two years unable to choose a direction to go down, the Toronto Raptors seemed to have finally figured out what they want to do: retool… not rebuild around Scottie Barnes.
That was made evident when it was announced that the Raptors would be sending OG Anynoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickly and a 2024 second round pick
So what does it mean for both teams.  It’s certainly an interesting move, opting for young talent as opposed to stocking up on draft capital.  Quickly provides the most upside out of anyone in the deal.  The 23-year-old point guard has been playing in the shadow of Jalen Brunson for the past two season, and now, with an opportunity to not only start, but be a significant piece in the offence, he could be primed for a major leap.
He provides 3 point shooting that Toronto has desperately lacked, and his score-first mentality at the point guard spot compliments Barnes (a facilitating wing with great vision) very well.
Barrett meanwhile is a bit of a reclamation project.  The 24-year-old is having his worst season yet, and has been unable to carve out a consistent role offensively playing with the ball dominant Brunson and Julius Randle.  He, like Quickly, will have more opportunities with Toronto.  Barrett does bring a transition element that’s been missing for Toronto.  He plays hard, he’s a good/not great defensive player, and though the stats wouldn’t exactly tell you this, he does have a knack for hitting big shots down the stretch of games.
Plus, being from Toronto, he’ll instantly be a fan-favorite, and maybe a return to his hometown could reignite him.
The Knicks meanwhile are bringing in an elite defensive wing.  It was a need for them, a team looking at potential playoff matchups with Jimmy butler, Giannis  Antetekoumpo, and/or Jayson Tatum.
Anunoby is as good an option to defend each of those players as your going to find in the league. Offensively, he’s streaky, but playing with Brunson should afford him plenty of open shots beyond the arc.
Back to Toronto meanwhile, this is a move that indicates things are changing, which ultimately could mean a Pascal Siakam might not be far behind.
The two teams rumored to be in the running are the Sacramento Kings, and the Indiana Pacers.  If Toronto could pull off getting, say, Keegan Murray in return to pair with Barnes, Quickly and Barrett, things in Toronto could suddenly start to look up faster than fans think.
One thing is for sure though, it was time to shake things up. They just lost to the Pistons for Pete’s sake.  And it seems management is finally ready to do so.  Time will tell.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Eddie Huband

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