As Fischer reports, word had circulated that Anunoby grew dissatisfied with his role following the emergence of Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. Anunoby, who had career-highs in points per game (17.1), assists (2.6), and tied for career-bests in rebounds per game (5.5) and steals (1.5), would be an ideal salary match for the Blazers.
As Fischer puts it:
“The Trail Blazers remain widely expected to pursue trade scenarios with the No. 7 pick in order to add a complementary veteran alongside All-NBA guard Damian Lillard, and Anunoby is believed to be one of their primary targets along with Jerami Grant.
Both contracts would fit into Portland’s $20.9 million trade exception from the deal that sent CJ McCollum to New Orleans. There’s a possibility Portland looks to create cap space to land a maximum-salary free agent such as Zach LaVine, but all indications point to the Blazers guaranteeing Josh Hart’s $12.9 million for next season, which would likely negate a major free-agency signing. The deadline to guarantee Hart is June 25, two days after the NBA draft and nearly a week before free agency begins July 1.”
Using their trade exception for Anunoby would be on the table. There’s also a sense of familiarity among the two teams; the Blazers and Raptors engaged in trade discussions not long ago, in their Mar. 2021 deal featuring Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood, and Norman Powell. In Anunoby, they’d be acquiring a player with legitimate two-way talent.