By Anil Gogna | December 31, 2023
After years of speculation & rumors, OG Anunoby is finally on the move.
Along with Precious Achiuwa & Malachi Flynn, OG Anunoby has been traded to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 2nd Round Pick (via Detroit).
But to really appreciate how improbable it was that this trade took place, you have to understand the history between these front offices and franchises. There were 2 major obstacles that would have had most pundits thinking this outcome would be highly unlikely.
The first dates all the way back to 2011, when the New York Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. The consensus at the time was that Denver’s General Manager, Masai Ujiri had fleeced New York for a player that they could’ve signed as a free agent just a few months later. Since that trade, James Dolan, Chairman of the Knicks, has made it clear that he does not want to trade with Masai Ujiri. He even went so far as to veto a trade in 2013 that would have brought Kyle Lowry to New York, in fear of being scammed by Ujiri once again.
The second major obstacle was the pending lawsuit between the franchises. The Knicks are currently suing the Toronto Raptors for $10M in damages, for the theft of proprietary information. According to the Knicks, former employee, Ike Azotam, who is now the head of video & an assistant player development coach with the Raptors, stole a prep book, video scouting files and more, while the Raptors are pushing back on those claims, stating that Ike would have had access to the same information using his Raptors credentials, once they were set up. Regardless of the details, one would be justified in thinking a trade between these 2 franchises would be pretty unlikely at this time.
And that’s where one of the most powerful agencies in sports played a major factor. Current President of the New York Knicks, Leon Rose used to be the co-head of basketball at CAA. And although he left the agency over 3 years ago, his connections with CAA still run deep. In the past few years, the Knicks have acquired a plethora of CAA talent including Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Isaiah Hartenstein, Obi Toppin and Josh Hart. They also hired head coach Tom Thibodeau and assistant coaches Johnnie Bryant & Rick Brunson – all of whom were represented by CAA when the Knicks acquired them.
Another name to add to that list: OG Anunoby.
But in the case of Anunoby, not only is he represented by CAA, but more specifically, he’s represented by Sam Rose, the son of Leon Rose.