Why Anunoby makes too much sense for the Pacers
Given the near league-wide demand for OG Anunoby, the Toronto Raptors are wisely setting a high asking price for his services. Nevertheless, breaking the bank for what he brings to the table is pretty worth it, especially for a team in need of defensive reinforcement and reliable secondary scoring.
The Indiana Pacers are definitely that team. While they have been just fine with their shifty small-ball lineups when healthy, banking on nightly concessions on the defensive end and a high-octane offense to bridge the gap is a pretty unsustainable outfit for a team with playoff dreams this season.
Anunoby is simply a dream player for Indiana. Not only can he provide the necessary defensive presence badly needed on this team, but he can also arm them with the length they are badly craving for at the forward position to clarify roles better for the other players while serving as a useful secondary release valve on offense as a play finisher.
Parting with first-round picks last season in Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson may irk most fundamentalists, but a more realistic POV automates a deeper dive on the perks of landing a better fit in the form of Anunoby. Also, with the Pacers having full control of their draft capital, in addition to having some from other clubs, dangling two first-round picks — one of which projects to be in the high 20s — seems just right.