NBA Trade Rumour Roundup: Raptors’ Anunoby drawing plenty of interest

Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby has one year left of control and a player option on his contract. (Frank Gunn/CP)

The NBA’s trade deadline is less than a week away, and as the Feb. 9 date continues to creep up, so, too, does the hot-stove rise in temperature with it.

Here’s a look at some of the latest buzz around the league:

Anunoby drawing plenty of interest

Toronto Raptors forward O.G. Anunoby is garnering a lot of interest as the deadline approaches.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that “the Raptors are taking calls on Anunoby,” mentioning that the New York Knicks would be willing to give up multiple first-round picks for Anunoby and that the Phoenix Suns have come into the picture as well.

Additionally, Michael Sotto of HoopsHype said that the Memphis Grizzlies could be a team taking a run at Anunoby, a report supported by TNT and Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes on his new podcast, where he mentioned both the Grizzlies and the New Orleans Pelicans as teams interested in Anunoby mainly because neither team wants to see the other acquire him.

It’s understandable that Anunoby is drawing many suitors. He’s one of the best defenders in the NBA, capable of guarding all five positions on the floor and is among the most deadly corner three threats in the game today, connecting on 44.4 per cent of his looks from those spots this season.

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These skills can help every basketball team on the planet and are highly valued in the NBA. The fact that he’s still only 25 years old and has at least one more season on a very team-friendly contract left is just icing on the cake.

If the Raptors are looking to trade Anunoby, then waiting until the very last minute makes the most sense to try to extract as much value out of the leverage they hold as possible.

Raptors, Celtics among teams increasing pursuit of Poeltl

Charania is reporting that the Raptors are among teams increasing their pursuit of San Antonio Spurs centre Jakob Poeltl.

Poeltl is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is enjoying a strong season for the Spurs, averaging 12 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on 62.3 per cent shooting.

Originally drafted by the Raptors with the ninth-overall pick in 2016, the 27-year-old spent his first two seasons in Toronto before he was traded in the summer 2018 as part of the blockbuster deal that brought Kawhi Leonard over from San Antonio.

Charania also mentioned that the Boston Celtics are pursuing Poeltl, a club that would fit Poeltl’s desire to play for a contender better.

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Lakers, Jazz discussing Westbrook trade

Haynes is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz have had exploratory talks around Russell Westbrook.

This doesn’t mean a deal is imminent, though, as the Bleacher Report reporter also mentioned that Los Angeles was “said to be in communication with most teams” about Westbrook.

The 34-year-old Westbrook is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The former MVP struggled mightily to begin the season but graciously took a role to come off the bench, where he’s become a leading candidate for sixth man of the year, averaging 16 points, 7.8 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game in 47 games as a reserve.

By adding Westbrook this season, Utah would open up a ton of cap room to help with the team’s rebuild.

And in other Utah news, The Portland Trail Blazers could be looking to trade for Jazz forward Jarred Vanderbilt, according to Charania.

Charania said it’s “increasingly likely” that the 23-year-old will be dealt at the deadline.

The Blazers lack depth at the four and five spots, so bringing in a still-developing, young big man like Vanderbilt would make sense.

Looks like Pistons are more interested in keeping Bojan Bogdanovic

The Detroit Pistons have been rejecting offers for sharpshooting veteran Bojan Bogdanovic, according NBA insider Marc Stein.

Bogdanovic, 33, is having a career year, averaging 21.4 points per game while shooting 41.6 per cent from three-point range.

Those numbers, combined with where Detroit is in the standings, have made Bogdanovic a hot commodity around the league but, according to Stein, the Pistons might even reject an unprotected first-rounder for Bogdanovic, who has become an important leader for the youngsters on Detroit both on and off the floor.

As far as players the Pistons actually might trade, Stein mentioned that Detroit could be looking for draft capital for the likes of Alex Burks and Saddiq Bey.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, the Knicks are a team that have shown interest in acquiring the third-year forward.

Hawks lower asking price of John Collins

The Atlanta Hawks have decreased their initial asking price for forward John Collins, Sam Amick of The Athletic is reporting.

Atlanta dropped the impetus for a first-round pick, Amick reported, and is now looking to land a contributing player or players to help salvage what has been a disappointing season for the Hawks after they went and leveraged much of their future in the off-season to acquire Dejounte Murray from the Spurs.

Collins is in the second year of a five-year, $125-million contract he signed in 2021. The 25-year-old is having his worst season statistically since his rookie campaign, averaging 13.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, shooting 51.3 per cent from the floor.

Kings, Warriors have interest in Sixers’ Thybulle

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings are teams that are monitoring the potential availability of Philadelphia 76ers forward Matisse Thybulle.

Thybulle is sparsely used in Doc Rivers’ rotation and is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

A defensive specialist, if he were to see more consistent floor time with either the Warriors or Kings, Thybulle would surely help shore up some of the holes of those respective teams’ middling defences.

Nuggets’ Hyland could be on the move

Promising young Denver Nuggets guard Bones Hyland could be on the move before the deadline.

According to Haynes, Hyland isn’t getting along too well with the Nuggets’ coaching staff and would like a larger role.

Haynes said the Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets have expressed interest in the 22-year-old.

The Hornets are said to be shopping centre Mason Plumlee and forward Kelly Oubre Jr., according to Charania.

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