OG Anunoby trade credited for making Knicks biggest threat to Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference

New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls
New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Bleacher Report's Dan Favale believes that the New York Knicks trade for OG Anunoby was the scale-tipping transaction that made NY the biggest Eastern Conference threat to the Boston Celtics; this after a thrilling come-from-behind 104-101 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 2 victory for the orange and blue over the Philadelphia 76ers on April 22.

"The search for the Eastern Conference's biggest threat to the Boston Celtics is officially over," Favale prefaced before saying, "Because the New York Knicks just ended it. Some will argue they closed the book on this already—long ago, even.

"The OG Anunoby trade to close out 2023 turned out to be that impactful, diversifying and balancing the rotation, at both ends of the floor, in a way that made undeniable sense."

Now, it'd be fun to pump the brakes on such a claim, but in truth, Favale may just be right. With Anunoby having the versatility to play the 4, New York has been able to deploy its No. 1 option Jalen Brunson's NCAA Championship-winning teammates, Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart, in the starting lineup. Wildly enough, the absences of the top players of the past several Knicks playoff runs, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, could be why NY is the most legitimate Eastern Conference threat to the Cs.

It's such a Knicks fanbase move that they condemned this trade when it happened. While Barrett and Immanuel Quickley showed plenty of potential, both would've clogged up New York's cap sheet for years to come. Anunoby is more cost-efficient and is a better fit.

Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets are the only true threats to the Boston Celtics

As inspiring as the Knicks' run is, it shouldn't make the Celtics fear them. At all.

There's only one legitimate threat in the NBA to Boston's title hopes: Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. The Joker is operating at G.O.A.T. levels right now and the supporting cast, most notably Jamal Murray after his Game 2 buzzer-beater, are meeting the moment.

Once NY reaches the Eastern Conference Finals we'll revisit this. But Denver is the only team worth talking about in the same breath as Boston.