The Kings Are Reportedly Pursuing An OG Anunoby Trade

The Sacramento Kings are coming off of a tremendous 2022-23 season in which they snapped their two decade long playoff drought by earning the 3-seed in the West, taking the Warriors to seven games in the first round before losing to the then defending champs.

De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis emerged as All-Stars, Mike Brown won Coach of the Year, and in the regular season they were among the best offenses in NBA history. Unfortunately in that playoff series, much of their shooting success from long distance dried up and their defense was not quite able to pick up the slack. The key area of need for this team is a bit more two-way balance, and it appears the Kings front office is aware of that need after a report out of Sacramento, from Damien Barling of ESPN 1320, emerged that they are targeting Raptors wing OG Anunoby on the trade market.

There are a number of teams eyeing the Raptors this offseason and trying to figure out if they will finally become sellers after more than a year of them being rumored to be taking calls on stars only to never deal them. With Fred VanVleet entering free agency and a new coaching staff coming into town that seems geared towards young player development, it certainly seems like Portland might actually pull the trigger on moving some of their bigger names.

Anunoby is a particularly hot commodity given his development into a strong two-way wing, averaging 16.8 points per game on 47.6/38.7/83.8 shooting splits last year, and team friendly contract (two years left with $18.6 million due next year). The Kings have a number of talented offensive wings, but they almost all struggled in the playoffs (Malik Monk as the notable exception) and an upgrade on the defensive end from their forward spots is much needed. Anunoby certainly fits the bill, but Toronto has maintained a high asking price for Anunoby and that figures not to change this summer.

Financially, there are a number of ways the Kings could match his salary, it all just depends on what Toronto prioritizes in return and which of their young wings Sacramento is willing to part with. Kevin Huerter was excellent in his first year in Sacramento and a combination of he and Kessler Edwards would make the salaries work, with a number of picks needing to be attached. Keegan Murray, meanwhile, could be the other centerpiece of a deal, as his deal paired with Richaun Holmes would make the money work, as he had an All-Rookie season with the Kings, but, like Huerter, had his ups and downs in the playoffs. From Toronto’s perspective, Murray would be the greater prize over Huerter, but the Kings would surely want to count him, effectively, as a first round pick going in return and take a little off of the picks package.

It’s obviously quite early to know whether we even get to a point where this is more than a puff of smoke, but for Kings fans, their eagerness to continue bolstering the roster rather than being satisfied with a surprisingly good year should be a positive sign.