NBA Rumour Roundup: Anunoby, VanVleet, Lowry among top trade targets

Blake Murphy joins the Raptors Show with Will Lou to discuss a potential trade from Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet that would see him be moved to the Orlando Magic in return for former 2021 fifth-overall pick Jalen Suggs.

The 2023 NBA trade deadline is just a day away.

With the deadline coming at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT on Thursday, here’s some of the latest buzz circulating around before the big day.

Raptors maintaining steep asking price for Anunoby

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Toronto Raptors “have communicated asking prices that rival front offices think quite steep” around forward O.G. Anunoby, maintaining what has appeared to be the status quo ever since reporting first come into focus regarding the possibility that Toronto could be looking to deal Anunoby back in December.

This likely means the Raptors are still looking for multiple first-round picks (preferably without any protections attached, or at least limited protections) along with a promising young player or two for the two-way stalwart.

[brightcove videoID=6319937536112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

It’s understandable why teams would be reluctant to make a move for such a high asking price, especially knowing now what the Brooklyn Nets were willing to accept from the Dallas Mavericks for Kyrie Irving, but Toronto should still maintain its position for as long as possible because it looks like Anunoby is garnering a lot of interest.

According to Fischer, the Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers have all been connected to Anunoby recently.

If this is true, then a bidding war of sorts could start – or might already be in the process – for Anunoby’s services.

VanVleet another Raptor primed to be dealt at deadline

In that same Fischer story, the Yahoo reporter says Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet is “the most likely Raptor to be traded ahead of Thursday’s deadline.”

Unlike Anunoby, VanVleet is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer as he’s expected to opt out of the final year of his deal for next season. This makes him a high-powered rental for many teams and/or a long-term solution for a club that’s looking to acquire him now and have a longer negotiation window with him when he hits free agency.

Fischer reports that the Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Lakers and Suns have all expressed interest in VanVleet.

The Suns are the most intriguing team to hear about as they already have a Hall of Fame point guard running things for them in Chris Paul. However, as Bleacher Report and TNT reporter Chris Haynes has said, the Suns actually dangled Paul in a bid for Irving, so they may be a team looking for a successor to Paul in order to keep their championship window open with Devin Booker just beginning to hit his prime.

Teams told no plans yet for a Durant trade

In the wake of the Irving deal to Dallas, the biggest question in Brooklyn was the potential status of Kevin Durant and whether he might be made available before the trade deadline.

That likely won’t be the case, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Nets don’t have any plans to deal Durant before the deadline, according to Wojnarowski, despite the obvious interest in the star forward from around the league with teams such as the Suns and Raptors being linked to him last off-season when he reportedly made a trade request of his own.

As part of his report about Anunoby, Fischer mentioned that front offices around the league are preparing for an off-season Durant trade, something that could hurt Anunoby’s market at the deadline.

Heat could look to trade Lowry

The Miami Heat are willing to trade veteran point guard Kyle Lowry, Fischer reports.

Lowry has previously been linked to the Clippers but, according to Fischer, there was resistance to the idea of dealing Lowry previously. However, the Heat may be more open now as the 36-year-old has missed many games this season dealing with a nagging knee injury.

The former Raptor great is in the midst of one of his worst career seasons, averaging 12 points and 5.3 assists per game on poor 39.6 per cent shooting from the field and a 33.3 per cent mark from deep.

Jazz, Knicks discussed Vanderbilt deal

The Utah Jazz and New York Knicks have had discussions around a potential deal that would see New York acquire Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, while Utah would see Obi Toppin and Evan Fournier heading their way, according to ESPN’s Tim McMahan.

Such a deal looks like it could come to fruition, especially given all the rumours that have been swirling around lately involving Vanderbilt and Beasley, and the Knicks’ willingness to move just about every piece on their roster not named Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.