OG Anunoby is finally starting to get the recognition outside of Toronto he rightfully deserves.
Heading into the 2021 NBA season, Sports Illustrated had Anunoby ranked as the 73rd player in the league. He was viewed as an up-and-coming prospect with the potential to be a difference-maker on both sides of the court. Well, even after an injury-plagued season, the 24-year-old forward has jumped up 14 spots in the annual Top 100 rankings, slotting in as the 59th best player in the NBA.
"Anunoby is more than the person who claimed to introduce Serge Ibaka to scarves. He is the dream modern-day wing." Rohan Nadkarni wrote. "He is rangy, can defend multiple positions, and he’s a career 37.5% shooter from three. With Kyle Lowry out of Toronto, Anunoby may be asked to take on a bigger role for the Raptors this season. So far, he’s delivered whenever given the opportunity."
Nadkarni is right. Anunoby has stepped up whenever he's been given an opportunity to show more on the offensive side of the ball. His points per game jumped from 14.3 prior to the March 25th NBA trade deadline to 18.2 once Norman Powell was moved to Portland.
Defensively, Anunoby is already a star. He's the kind of player NBA teams are constantly looking for these days. He's long and strong enough to defend most bigs and has enough quickness and speed to stay in front of most opposing guards.
This season, with Lowry in Miami, Anunoby should have a chance to really take a massive step forward. He's come a long way offensively, smoothing out his handle while learning to shoot off the dribble a little more. If he can replicate his second-half offensive stats and stay healthy in 2022, Anunoby should find himself even higher on next year's Top 100 list.