Former Indiana forward OG Anunoby was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 23rd overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Here’s a look at what people are saying nationally about that selection, and about Anunoby’s fit in Toronto.
Raptors President Masai Ujiri
“We feel like he’s a player that, we feel has to develop, but I think will develop quickly,” Ujiri said following the draft. “He’s already a top defender type player, and then if we decide to go younger or another direction, he fits. He’s a young player. So, I think he fits in all scenarios for us, and that’s what made it interesting.”
Raptors Coach Dwane Casey
“He’s a P.J. Tucker clone practically. He’s a big-time talent and if it wasn’t for his injury he would have gone a lot higher. He’s a guy that our scouts targeted and luckily he fell to us. There were a lot of teams right behind us that were salivating to get him.
“He has a toughness, he’s NBA ready physically. Defensively he’s one of the top defenders in the draft. One of those guys you don’t have to say giddy-up too, he’s ready to go right from the start.”
SBNation.com: OG Anunoby could be the steal of the NBA draft, if healthy
“He isn’t the most polished player and has lots of work to do to improve his game, but if he pans out, he could be just the 3-and-D forward Toronto is looking to have. He can stay with the quickest perimeter players despite being a heavier small forward because of that athleticism and frame. That is an invaluable skill that will be put to great use by Toronto the moment he gets minutes.
He isn’t the perfect player, but that’s not what the Raptors are looking for. He spent two years in Indiana, but is just 19 years old, so he has plenty of room to grow into the future. Toronto should be very satisfied with this pick.”
Toronto Sun: Draft pick Anunoby and Raptors were meant to be
“Anunoby, a 6-foot-8 forward, met with six teams prior to draft night, including the Raptors twice — once in L.A. and again three days before the draft when the team flew him up to Toronto so the staff could meet him.
Going into the draft, few had any hope that the Indiana University product would be around by the 23rd pick. When he was still there, it was a no-brainer. Anunoby, who showed up Friday to meet his new team and the local media in a suit, said he felt an immediate connection with the Raptors personnel.
Anunoby didn’t really expand on that but it’s not a stretch to suggest team president Masai Ujiri — who shares the same Nigerian heritage with Anunoby’s father — might have played a starring role in creating that level of comfort with the Raptors.”
ESPN: 22.5% Anunoby will be a Role Player
ESPN Analytics projection (within his first five seasons):
- Chances he’ll be an All-Star: 1.57 percent
- Chances he’ll be an NBA starter: 16.68 percent
- Chances he’ll be a role player: 22.51 percent
Sports Illustrated: B+ Pick
There were mixed reports on the status of Anunoby’s ACL recovery, and concerns about his long-term health led to his slide in the draft. This is nice value for the Raptors, accordingly. Anunoby may miss significant time next season, but he could be a terrific defensive player and gives Toronto a great deal of upside if he returns to full health. He needs to improve his offensive skills, as he’s somewhat limited as a scorer, but has promise as a jump shooter and he’s a very good athlete. His insane length could make him a terrifying perimeter stopper. Grade: B+