The Portland Trail Blazers just traded for Jerami Grant, but they may be after a second starting forward in the person of OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has tweeted that the Blazers are pursing Anunoby using the 7th pick of the 2022 NBA Draft.
Portland Trail Blazers are in pursuit of Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby with the No. 7 pick in Thursday’s draft in play, league sources tell @YahooSports
Portland pried Grant away from Detroit with a future first-rounder and second-round swaps. That leaves their own lottery pick available for further deals. With high-level stars off the board by the 7th selection, Portland may see Anunoby as preferable to taking a chance on a high risk/reward player like Shaedon Sharpe or a player of limited experience and unproven skillset like Dyson Daniels. The Blazers are eager to improve around incumbent All-Star guard Damian Lillard, who has reached the latter parts of his prime after a decade with the club and only a single Conference Finals appearance to his name.
Defense has proven to be Portland’s Achilles Heel in recent years. They spun their wheels with a backcourt of Lillard and CJ McCollum, both high-level offensive players, not known for their defensive chops. Defensively-apt journeymen like Al-Farouq Aminu and Larry Nance Jr. proved incapable of pushing them over the top.
Next season the Blazers will presumably start a backcourt of Lillard and Anfernee Simons, raising many of the same issues. Grant has proven himself a good defense with scoring chops besides. Acquiring Anunoby would give Portland one of the best multi-skilled, two-way forward tandems in the league.
The Raptors prized Anunoby in recent years, but he was edged towards the margins last season by the forward duo of Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes.
How would you rate a Grant-Anunoby frontcourt? Would that seal Portland’s off-season for you, or would you rather use the 7th pick some other way?