In the lead-up to the 2022 NBA Draft, there remains question as to what the Portland Trail Blazers intend to do with the No. 7 selection.
In his Offseason Intel article this morning, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer outlines on one potential idea, surrounding the team trading for the services of Toronto Raptors swingman OG Anunoby.
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.