The Knicks made a huge move, sending out shot-creation and home-grown talent for an elite defender in OG Anunoby.

The New York Knicks traded RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second round pick to the Toronto Raptors for OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, and Precious Achiuwa on Saturday afternoon. 

The move, the biggest of the Leon Rose-era, sends Anunoby to New York as they desperately needed a defensively minded wing with shooting capabilities and as the Knicks were looking to potentially offload Quickley after failing to reach an extension with the guard this past summer. 

Barrett and Quickley, both homegrown talents, will supply the Raptors with some much needed point guard play as well as forward depth. While Knicks fans are split on the trade, it felt inevitable that New York would look to shop either or both of the young players as they looked to take any type of leap in a highly-contested Eastern Conference race. 

Anunoby is averaging 15.1 points per game along with 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Achiuwa is sent over as the Knicks were seeking out backup centers to replace the minutes of Isaiah Hartenstein off the bench as he starts in place of Mitchell Robinson who is out for the rest of the year. An inconsistent big, he has averaged 7.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 17.5 minutes per game. Flynn, who may end up slotting into the Knicks’ backup point guard position behind Jalen Brunson, is averaging 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game on very limited usage. 

It remains to be seen how New York’s bench will shape up in the absence of Quickley, who was by and large their best second unit player and one of the team’s best players over the last four years. Barrett may end up finding his groove again moving back to Canada and playing in his home country after coming out the gate with some lackluster, inconsistent performances for New York this season. 

Anunoby, the big fish of the trade, is due for a contract extension this coming offseason. It remains to be seen if he will be extended by the team. 

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