2. OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors were another team that emerged late as a potential landing spot for Lillard, and after whiffing they’re in the same strange purgatory they’ve been in for a few years now. It’s not a full rebuild situation, but something has to change. OG Anunoby has long been included in trade rumors, and he’d be a very intriguing fit on the C’s.
Anunoby is one of the best wing defenders in the NBA, and has been for a few years now. Stats never really do defenders justice, but he’s averaged 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocks per game since becoming a full-time starter in the 2019-20 season, and he led the NBA in steals last year. His length, strength and versatility at just 26 years old has him poised to be a difference-maker on that end of the court for a long time.
He’s also starting to develop a bit of an offensive bag too, He’s had a usage rate in the 19-20% range in each of the last three seasons in Toronto, averaging 16.6 points per game while shooting 46.6% from the field (38.2% from deep). The Celtics wouldn’t need him to carry a huge load on offense either, which would be a boost for his efficiency too.
And where does Anunoby fit into the Boston lineup? Either as a starter or as a sixth-man who plays starters minutes.
Al Horford is a gem, and like all Celtics fans I love him. But how much longer can we count on getting 30 quality starter minutes per game from the 37-year-old?
The versatility this Boston team offers would mean still being able to have Horford playing meaningful minutes while reducing his workload some (if he didn’t go as a salary balancer in the trade package).
Kristaps Porzingis can play the four or the five. Jayson Tatum and OG Anunoby can both play either forward spot interchangeably. Jaylen Brown can play either wing spot. There are a ton of different lineup combinations that let us keep our best players all on the floor.
It would take Malcolm Brogdon and plenty more on top of that to land Anunoby, but it would be worth it.