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Report: O.G. Anunoby to entertain rival free agency offers

OG Anunoby Free Agent
Knicks forward O.G. Anunoby could explore the free agent market this offseason (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Report: O.G. Anunoby to entertain rival free agency offers

One of the biggest acquisitions ahead of the 2023-24 NBA Trade Deadline came long before the actual deadline.

On Dec. 30, the New York Knicks swung for the fences, acquiring forwards O.G. Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa plus guard Malachi Flynn from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley–one of the best young guards in the Association–plus a second-round pick.

While it appeared to be a near-foregone conclusion he would re-up with the organization at the time of the trade, it’s not as foregone anymore, according to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer.

“While league personnel are of the mind Siakam will certainly be re-signing with Indiana, there was word circling among team officials at last week’s NBA Draft Combine that Anunoby’s situation with the Knicks is not as cut and dried,” his report Thursday read. “Perhaps those signals to rival teams will only help Anunoby elicit a larger dollar figure from the Knicks. But various teams left Chicago with the belief that Anunoby could reach unrestricted free agency and consider deals from other franchises in addition to New York, sources said.”

New York’s deadline swing move was the first of multiple sizable trades for both them and, to a much larger degree, Toronto. The Knicks eventually acquired Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks from the Detroit Pistons while Toronto eventually traded All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers, which helped buoy them to a conference finals bid.

Anunoby, 26, is represented by Andrew Morrison, Austin Brown and Sam Rose of the Creative Arts Agency (CAA). Sam is the son of Knicks general manager Leon Rose, a former CAA agent. There’s a clear relationship between player-agent-executive.

It’s always smart to explore every offer that could be on the table. But unless teams begin renouncing rights from their current free agents, only seven teams are projected to have cap space next season: The Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons, per Spotrac.

The Knicks, projected to be $27 million below the first apron, own Anunoby’s bird rights, meaning they could sign him anywhere up to the max. One could wonder if this is a leverage leak to get more money from the Knicks brass.

He did suffer a hamstring injury in Game 2 of the East semifinals against the Indiana Pacers, causing him to miss the next four games and be available only by name in Game 7, where he played just five unimpactful minutes.

Anunoby was one of their most impactful role players upon acquiring him, averaging 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 steals and one block in 23 regular season games with New York. In nine postseason games, he posted 15.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.9 steals and one block per contest on 58.3 percent true shooting. He was invaluable down the stretch without Julius Randle, plus giving up Barrett, Quickley (!) and picks should behoove New York to lock up Anunoby as soon as possible.


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