February 26th, 2024

Raptors trade Anunoby to Knicks for Quickley, Canada’s Barrett, AP source says

By The Canadian Press on December 30, 2023.

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo has a shot blocked by Toronto Raptors' Precious Achiuwa and OG Anunoby during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Raptors won 103-96. It appears the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks are making a major multiplayer trade. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Morry Gash

NEW YORK – The Toronto Raptors acquired Canadian RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley from the New York Knicks in exchange for OG Anunoby, a person with knowledge of the deal said Saturday.

The Knicks also will acquire Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn, the person told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the trade is not yet official.

The trade was first reported by ESPN.

The Knicks are giving up two of their top offensive players in Barrett, a starting forward from Mississauga, Ont., and Quickley, one of the NBA’s top reserves. But the deal should provide a needed boost to their defence, with Anunoby leading the league in steals last season.

A Raptors spokesperson declined to comment on the reported trade. A text-message left with Barrett was not immediately returned.

The deal left both teams short-handed for their games Saturday night. The Raptors were in Detroit, where the Pistons were trying to avoid an NBA-record 29th consecutive loss, while the Knicks were in Indiana.

Toronto (12-19) entered play Saturday tied for 11th place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings. The Knicks were in seventh place at 17-14.

Anunoby, considered one of the best defenders in the NBA, figures to step right into Barrett’s spot in the Knicks’ starting lineup.

The 6-foot-7 swingman is averaging 15.1 points and had his highest-scoring game of the season when the Raptors visited the Knicks on Dec. 11, scoring 29 points.

Barrett averages 18.2 points but has struggled lately with his outside shot, going 2 for 12 from 3-point range over the last two games. The No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft helped the Knicks reach the playoffs twice in the last three seasons after missing them the previous seven.

Barrett was also one of the anchors for a Canadian team that won a bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup in September. It was the first-ever World Cup medal for Canada, which also earned a berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Quickley was the runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season, but there has been speculation he could be moved since the Knicks declined to give him a contract extension before this season.

They will have to replace his 15 points per game off the bench and ability to play both guard positions.

Achiuwa and Flynn have come off the bench for Toronto this season. Achiuwa has averaged 7.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while Flynn has averaged 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

The deal comes four months after the Knicks filed a lawsuit against the Raptors, alleging they had conspired to steal thousands of videos and other scouting secrets after hiring a former Knicks scouting employee.

In October, the Raptors’ owners, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), filed a motion in New York’s Southern District for the lawsuit to be dismissed. MLSE filed the legal documents on behalf of the NBA club, head coach Darko Rajakovic and 12 other individual defendants.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 30, 2023.

– AP Basketball Writers Tim Reynolds and Brian Mahoney contributed to this report.

– With files from The Canadian Press.

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