In his rumours column released Monday, Charania also confirmed a report by Ian Begley of SNY, who said last week that the Knicks have shown a willingness to trade multiple first-round picks for Anunoby.
Anunoby is a top wing defender in the NBA and currently leads the league in steals per game (2.1). The 25-year-old has also shot above 35 per cent from three-point range in five of his six seasons in the NBA and averaged above 15 points in the last three seasons, making him a possible contributor to any contending team.
Anunoby is also a very affordable trade chip. He’s in the second year of a four-year contract with an average salary of $18 million — the contract includes a player option for the fourth year.
Amid the Raptors’ disappointing season thus far, Charania calls them “a swing team in this year’s trade market” and reports that they’ve informed rival teams that they’ll make a decision on whether to buy, sell or stand pat closer to the Feb. 4 deadline.
Along with Anunoby, guards Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. are also viewed as possible trade candidates, with both players possibly becoming unrestricted free agents this off-season.
Earlier this month, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported the Clippers had shown interest in VanVleet. Charania also previously reported the Suns and Orlando Magic were potential free-agent suitors for the 28-year-old.
And the Raptors reports didn’t end there. Charania wrote Monday that the future of Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who reportedly has one year left beyond this season on his contract, is “expected to come into focus this summer.”
The Raptors are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 23-28 record, one game back of a play-in spot and five games back of a guaranteed playoff spot.