After tearing his ACL midway through the season, NBA teams weren't ready to quit on Indiana forward OG Anunoby.
Entering his freshman year at Indiana in the fall of 2015, Anunoby was a three-star prospect who had great size for his position and exceptional athletic ability which could earn him a few minutes here and there.
As Indiana's season began to take a downward spiral in 2015-’16, Anunoby began to step up, and ultimately became arguably the best defender and most consistent player for a team who won the Big Ten Regular Season Title, and earned a spot in the Sweet 16.
Following his stellar freshman season, Anunoby established himself as a possible first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft but decided to return his sophomore year to Bloomington to improve his draft stock for the 2017 Draft where he is now a potential lottery pick.
Although Anunoby's second season in Bloomington was cut short due to injury, NBA teams were still high on OG because of his athleticism for his size and the unlimited potential upside that comes with it.
During his abbreviated sophomore season, Anunoby averaged 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks while playing 25.1 minutes per ball game, a 12-minute increase from his freshman season where he only played around 13 minutes per contest.
Throughout the whole draft process, many experts have compared Anunoby's defensive play style and physical build to that of San Antonio Spurs' and NBA MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard. Both Anunoby and Leonard are lengthy, strong forwards who have great size for their position and well above average athleticism for a player of their stature.
While Leonard has the advantage on the offensive end regarding his ability to get to the rim and create his space for himself to get an open shot, NBA scouting experts believe Anunoby can become an elite defender similar to Kawhi as OG showed glimpses of promise on the defensive end during his time at Indiana.
Although defense is Anunoby's main strength, there is still reason to believe he can still contribute on the offense. During his two seasons at Indiana, Anunoby shot 36.5 percent from behind the arc and possessed a 56.3 percent field goal percentage, inferring that he took high-quality shots.
What stands out about OG is most of his draft stock relied on the fact that there's so much upside to his game.
OG Anunoby was a great pickup for the Raptors, especially considering the team’s ability to stock up as he grows into his immense skillset.
While the offensive game is still developing, it wouldn't come as a surprise if Anunoby earned playing time right away due to his ability on defense. Anunoby has shown he can shut down high-profile guards and even give 7-footers trouble down which will give the Raptors a reliable defender who can guard multiple positions.
Anunoby will turn 20 years old in July and with that young age comes plenty of time for him to blossom into a significant role player for Toronto now and for years to come.