Knicks send RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley to Raptors for OG Anunoby in stunning trade

New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, OG Anunoby
New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, OG Anunoby / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

Well, the ongoing lawsuit involving the New York Knicks and Raptors didn't matter as much as we thought it did. New York has been monitoring OG Anunoby's status for a while, and with his looming player option for 2024-25, Toronto finally decided to part ways with the 26-year-old.

On Saturday afternoon, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Knicks were sending RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors for Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn. New York also sent a 2024 second-round pick (via Detroit), so the Knicks got by with not throwing in a coveted first-round pick.

Knicks trade RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley to Raptors for OG Anunoby

New York fans are trying to cope with the loss of Immanuel Quickley more so than RJ Barrett. IQ didn't sign an extension before the 2023-24 season, so the writing was on the wall that he'd be dealt before the trade deadline. As for Barrett, he started the season off hot, but he's played poorly in recent weeks.

It is surprising that rather than wait until closer to Feb. 8, the Raptors decided to trade Anunoby in December. Pressure has been on the Knicks to make a move as soon as possible, so that could've played a role in expediting a trade.

Anunoby is averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game, shooting 48.9% from the field and 48.9% from three. He has a $19.9 million player option for 2024-25 that he could decline to become a free agent, similar to the Josh Hart situation. The assumption should be that Anunoby wants to sign a new deal with the Knicks, but that won't be certain until it happens.

As much as it hurts to lose Quickley, the reality is that New York wasn't willing to pay him what he wanted. Rather than lose him to a team willing to pay him more as a restricted free agent, the Knicks used him to get Anunoby. Don't expect New York to stop at him, either. The front office still has the draft assets to go after a superstar, too.