As rumors of an unexpected ‘Anonobi’ swirl, the Raptors enter the clouds with divergent paths into play.

At a briefing before the NBA draft Thursday night, Toronto Raptors general manager Bobby Webster was asked all the usual questions. Is it better to craft for talent? Favor? And the rest. That’s not all that convincing, given that raptors have 33research and development Pick and take, by definition, any prospect the rest of the league doesn’t see as good enough to make it into the top 32.

He was also asked about reports, rumors or speculation – pick your rank – about Raptors attacker OG Anunoby being unhappy in his role, so much so that he might be open to trading.

The noise mostly faded, but for an otherwise quiet Tuesday, it was at least worth noting that Webster didn’t take the opportunity to grab the mic and yell out loud that everything was slowing down, and that the raptors would never, going forward the fifth year with 23research and development Choose the night of the draw in 2017 and watch a high-end 3D wing blossom among the hits.

“We have great communication with OG,” Webster said. “It’s even here [in Toronto] Currently. First, it doesn’t make sense to comment on all trade speculation. If we talked about every call we received or every player we discussed, we would be here for hours, so I don’t think it’s worth all that attention.”

Which seems to be true: Why do we get caught up in what is mostly speculation?

But it’s hard to read that quote and not think that at least the door is still open, just a crack, and that Webster at least hasn’t put himself in the corner.

And it becomes even more interesting when paired with another comment made by Webster regarding the Raptors’ out-of-season photo in general, with free agency appearing after July 1.

“You look at it two ways: we have two free agents, and we have an average [exception to offer]. He said, assessing how busy the off-season might be, perhaps in that sense adding to the pack. “Obviously if you have business discussions, it is different. There are two different paths you can go down.”

Again, the most likely scenario? Not much happens. The Raptors reach contract agreements with Thad Young and Chris Boucher, their two free agents, and use a mid-level exception to add a strong veteran who can help lift the floor for a team that may have crossed the milestone en route to a surprising 48-season win and a first-round playoff exit.

But there’s this different path, as Webster tries to trade his way to a better slate — both now and in the future — and in that scenario it’s easy to see why the name Anunoby came up.

But be clear: How unhappy Anonobi is with his role as an off-the-ball attacking option while Pascal Siakam and Scotty Barnes are touted as high-use playmakers — the most dollar-paid job in the NBA economy — is thought to be overstated.

Would Anonobi like to play a more distinct role, in an offensive way? Certainly, which makes him no different from any other player in the NBA who thinks he could do more if given the chance.

But, on the scale of the problems the raptors had to deal with, these weren’t the mutual frustrations that had to be dealt with Siakam over the past two years, or the slow drip of the nearly decade-long headache that Kyle Lowry had experienced. . Incidentally, these two cases worked out well for everyone involved.

The only advantage of having a report that a key player might not be completely happy, though, is that you get the most league contacts to see what it takes to change that. Not surprisingly, the market is a 24-year-old veteran with a clincher who can take care of the store on both ends while quickly letting the term into a favorable contract.

Run enough that even if the Raptors wanted to move into the top half of the draft lottery, they probably would.

What might interest them there?

Just for fun, there are some highly regarded sporting suites with Canadian passports expected to go into the 4-8 range at Benedict Mathurin in Arizona, a sharp-shooting two-way wing from Montreal and Sheddon Sharp, a two-guard prototype from London, Ontario who is considered the most athletic player in this draft and possibly in many drafts.

The problem with enlisting ascends is that it requires a leap of faith. When you choose 33research and development In the draft, players expected to enter the top ten do not travel across the continent for a job interview.

Get to know Canadians in this draft

They are not among the top three agreed choices. But in this year’s NBA draft, these Canadians are ready to make their mark.

From Montreal to the top ten: Growing up in the “City of the Underdog,” Benedict Mathurin’s path to the NBA draft was shaped where he came from.

Small track record, big potential: Growing up Shaddon Sharp to be an athletic kid in London, Ontario was no big shock. But then what? This part was unwritten.

Cyclone of Nimbard and Houzestan: Their paths were different. They ended up in the same place, though, making an effort to prevent other people’s opinions from creeping into their consciousness as the big night approached.

On that front, the Raptors have an advantage in that Mathurin was camped with the Canadian national team last summer when Raptors coach Nick Norse wore a Canadian basketball hat.

If there was an opportunity to make a move and Mathurin was available, the Raptors could act with confidence. This is not the case with Sharpe or any of the other notable names in the draft.

All that said, the Raptors are unlikely to have plans to use the Anunoby as a way to operate in the upper reaches of the draft for the simple reason that the versatile wing is a bird in hand: chances are anyone in the 4-8 range would be better than any When is Anunoby now, let alone two or three years from now when accounting for Anunoby’s upside, which most believe has yet to be fully exploited primarily due to injuries that have cost him 63 games over the past two seasons?

More likely, the Raptors would take the best available player at number 33 and then turn their attention to a free agency, where – again – Toronto is expected to keep their free agents and increase some of the inefficiencies in their roster by adding a free agent. Although if the Raptors decide to engage in the commercial market at that point, Anunoby may appear again, although this is very unlikely.

But, as they say, never say never. Webster didn’t do that when he had the opportunity on Tuesday, so we’re keeping in touch.