Perfect offer Grizzlies must make Raptors ahead of 2023 NBA trade deadline
The Memphis Grizzlies are a growing franchise, steadily improving year after year since Ja Morant was drafted second overall in the 2019 NBA draft. With the title race as open as it has ever been been a while, the Grizzlies look like a championship team. Armed with sweltering perimeter defense, solid role players and elite rim protection that may or may not have sparked controversy over the past week, the pieces are in place for Memphis to improve. his second-round exit in last year’s playoffs.
However, the NBA, as it always has been, is an arms race, and the Grizzlies can’t afford to rest on their laurels. As solid as they have been in the 2022-23 campaign, there is always room for a team in contention to improve. That’s especially the case for the Grizzlies, as they’re fresh off a five-game losing skid that drops them just steps away from the Denver Nuggets’ record at the top of the Western Conference.
So, it’s no surprise that there have been reports linking the Grizzlies with a potential transfer for Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby. Anunoby may be a piece that won’t elevate a team in the title hunt on his own, but he’s someone who can fit in well alongside any NBA team with aspirations. in the championship.
Additionally, Anunoby matches the grizzly and longtime identity of the Grizzlies to a T; his perimeter defense will evoke fond memories of Tony Allen locking down the perimeter in his heyday at Beale Street.
Alas, OG Anunoby won’t come cheap in a trade. Still, the Grizzlies, with how well they’ve been led, have a lot going for them to strike a deal with the Raptors with the NBA’s trade deadline approaching.
It’s the perfect trade offer the Grizzlies have to make for the Raptors forward.
Grizzlies trade Danny Green, David Roddy, 2023 MEM first-round pick, 2024 GSW first-round pick and 2025 MEM first-round pick to Raptors for OG Anunoby
That might seem like too much to trade for OG Anunoby at first glance. Anunoby isn’t quite an All-Star level talent, so it may be hard for some to endure seeing their team give up so many draft assets for a player who wouldn’t be transformative enough on his own.
However, Rudy Gobert’s trade over the past offseason has clearly caused inflation in returning teams expecting to find a defensive game changer. The Minnesota Timberwolves, as we recall, traded three solid players (Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Patrick Beverley) plus a promising rookie to Walker Kessler, to go along with four first-round picks and a trade pick for the three- time defensive player of the year.
So why wouldn’t the Raptors try to save as many draft assets as possible for someone tougher than Gobert in the playoffs?
Clearly the Raptors seem content to keep OG Anunoby if they don’t get the return they want. Anunoby’s contract runs until at least the end of the 2023-24 campaign anyway, so the Raptors could very well trade him in the offseason if the going gets tough.
Still, if three first rounds, as some reports indicate, are what it takes to keep the 25-year-old 3-and-D extraordinaire away from the North, then the Grizzlies should be more than willing to pony up.
The Grizzlies, barring unforeseen injury issues for their core Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane, will be set up to compete for the foreseeable future anyway, so their draft picks aren’t expected to become extremely valuable selections. And they own each of their draft picks through 2030, which means they have plenty of leeway when it comes to giving up draft capital.
That’s why the Raptors would most likely want the Golden State Warriors’ first round in 2024, perhaps so they don’t put all their eggs in one basket. And the Grizzlies should be more than willing to ship that pick.
Moreover, the Grizzlies also seem ripe for a consolidation of talent. Memphis has John Konchar, Jake LaRavia, David Roddy and Ziaire Williams as replacements on the wing, and they could very well choose to part ways with at least one of those four (preferably Roddy) to ease OG’s arrival. Anunoby.
OG Anunoby would then give the Grizzlies an upgrade over Dillon Brooks; Although Brooks has endeared himself to Grizzlies fans with his brash talk and no prisoner attitude, his effectiveness issues can sometimes be troubling.
Plus, if Memphis chooses to go small, a Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Brooks, Anunoby, and Jaren Jackson Jr. formation will immediately give opponents at both ends of the floor nightmares with the amount of skill and defensive toughness in that formation.
The Grizzlies could very well support pat. They are strong enough contenders as they are currently built. But they, of all teams, know the value of perimeter defense in the playoffs.
Steph Curry and the Warriors gave them fits last year, and who knows who else they might be up against in a few months. They could come up against Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard, Devin Booker and other perimeter scorers who can put his defense to the sword. The addition of OG Anunoby, as extortionate a price as possible to get him away from the Raptors, helps make them more resilient in the game against the always tough Western Conference gauntlet.