Raptors Rumors: OG Anunoby Could Return from Appendectomy During 2019 NBA Finals

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2019

Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard E'Twaun Moore (55) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)
Scott Threlkeld/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby has missed the entirety of the postseason after having an appendectomy April 12, but it's possible he could return during the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun:

One good sign regarding Anunboy's recovery was his workout before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday.

The NBA Finals begin Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET in Toronto.

Anunoby, 21, averaged seven points and 2.9 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game this season, appearing in 67 overall contests. But he did take a step back in two key areas from his promising rookie season: overall shooting (from 47.1 percent as a rookie to 45.3 percent this year) and three-point shooting (from 37.1 percent to 33.2 percent).

Nonetheless, his return would give the Raptors another solid defender on the wing and another body to throw at Kevin Durant if the Warriors superstar is able to return to action in the Finals. 

That could ease the burden on Kawhi Leonard, who has not only carried the Raptors' offense throughout the postseason but has also often been asked to guard an opponent's best perimeter player. Leonard's ability to suffocate Giannis Antetokounmpo was a huge factor in Toronto beating the Milwaukee Bucks, and if Toronto wins a title, it will be behind his two-way excellence.

The Raptors won't beat the Warriors by being the better offensive team. If they win, it will be behind defense, and Anunoby will help in that regard, even if it's for small stretches.

It's possible, of course, that he'll only play a small role if he returns at all for this series. He hasn't played since mid-April, after all. But the possibility that he could return is nonetheless good news for a Toronto team seeking to pull off yet another upset and become improbable champions.

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