Raptors’ Nick Nurse, front office believe OG Anunoby is about to have a huge season
Toronto Raptors wingman OG Anunoby missed the entirety of the team’s run to the first NBA title in franchise history. After playing in 67 regular season games, Anunoby was forced out of the playoffs with an appendectomy.
But now that Kawhi Leonard has left town, the Raptors will need added production from the forward spot. It seems that Anunoby may be the guy to fill that void.
Both Masai Ujiri and head coach Nick Nurse spoke glowingly about Anunoby’s body of work in the offseason:
Like Ujiri, Nurse is raving about OG. Says he's in great shape, playing with more freedom and enjoyment. Thinks he'll have a big year.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) September 28, 2019
Anunoby averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and nearly a steal per game in just over 20 minutes per contest last season. He also continued to grow more comfortable spacing the floor, averaging 3.0 three-point attempts at a 33 percent clip.
The Raptors would be overjoyed if Anunoby had a breakout season similar to the one experienced by Pascal Siakam. After averaging 7.3 points in his sophomore season, Siakam averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 boards and 3.1 assists for the Raptors last season while winning the NBA Most Improved Player Award.
Indeed, both Siakam and Anunoby boast similar skill sets. They are both long and rangy forwards that can get to the cup and step out to provide some shooting from the perimeter. Anunoby has also been lauded for his work ethic as an individual defender.
The defending champions are in somewhat of a transitory phase. Although Leonard has left town, the Raptors have retained most of their core from last season.
Toronto hopes to still be among the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and a breakout campaign from Anunoby would go a long way towards helping that cause.