Grizzlies trade news: OG Anunoby still in play for Memphis

Milwaukee Bucks forward Grayson Allen defends Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby-Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Milwaukee Bucks forward Grayson Allen defends Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby-Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA trade deadline is less than 24 hours away, and still no moves from the Grizzlies. With Kyrie Irving now a Dallas Maverick, will Memphis respond with a big move of their own?

Now that LeBron James finally ended Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s reign as the NBA’s scoring leader, the top story in the NBA can go back to the approaching trade deadline. In less than 24 hours, the future of multiple players and teams could shift hard one way or the other. In a year where there is only a handful of true bottom dwellers, the deadline could be very quiet as teams hold on to their players for a chance at a play-in spot.

One of those teams on the fringe of playoff contention is the Toronto Raptors. They are just outside of the play-in, currently 25-30 and 11th in the Eastern Conference. Only a few games separate them and those above them, so it begs the question: is it worth keeping their roster intact despite being mediocre? It’s a harder question to answer now than in the past thanks to the new playoff format. If you are the Grizzlies, however, you should be making a lot of calls to Canada over the next 24 hours.

The Grizzlies should be all-in on OG Anunoby

If you spend even a little bit of your time on Grizzlies Twitter, you will hear one phrase in particular quite often: “They are still rebuilding.” Regardless of whether the front office considers the team to still be rebuilding or not, it’s a hard sell to fans who just watched this squad tie their wins record last season. If their reason for not making moves is that they still want to hold on to their draft assets, when are they going to be ready to make a big move?

Whether fans like it or not, Memphis isn’t going to suddenly become a free-agent destination. The Grizzlies have to build through the draft, trades, and small free-agent acquisitions. The draft part has been done very well as a whole, and the few trades they have made have been mostly good. At some point, however, they will have to make a big addition to propel themselves to a championship.

Raptors wing OG Anunoby is the player that should be their first big deadline deal in this new era. He is the perfect complement to Ja Morant and Desmond Bane on the perimeter, able to knock down open looks and defend multiple positions. With the way Dillon Brooks has shot the ball recently, he could take over some of his offensive duties for now and possibly replace him all together starting next season. He has continued to come up in trade rumors as well, with the Grizzlies a team consistently named among interested suitors. 

The price will be steep, possibly even too steep, but it could be worth it not only this year but into the future. Anunoby is just 25 years old and still under contract for at least another year (player option in 2024/25). This wouldn’t be just a rental. If the Grizzlies aren’t willing to start adding to the roster, none of that matters. But if not now, I ask again: when will it be the right time?