Insider: ‘There Was Word Circling’ on OG Anunoby’s Future With Knicks

OG Anunoby

Getty OG Anunoby

OG Anunoby proved himself a good fit with the New York Knicks. His skillset elevated the Knicks to a whole new level, making re-signing him an easy choice. However, keeping Anunoby might be easier said than done.

Yahoo Sports! Jake Fischer reported that it’s not a sure thing that he will stay with the Knicks.

“Of note: 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,” Fischer wrote in a May 23 story.

Fischer added that Anunoby may very well test free agency waters if and when he opts out of his contract.

“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.”

Anunoby has a player option for the 2024-25 season. Fischer added that “Anunoby is widely expected to decline his $19.9 million player option.” Given his skillset, championship experience, and how much he helped the Knicks, Anunoby will likely get a sizable pay raise.

Sixers See OG Anunoby as Backup Option

There is some credence to the notion that the Knicks will have competition for Anunoby. The Philadelphia 76ers could be in the mix. According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Sixers could chase Anunoby if their pursuit of Paul George fails this offseason.

“As previously reported, members of the Philadelphia 76ers have seen Anunoby as an offseason target. Paul George is also a target for Philadelphia. But if the Sixers can’t get George, I could see them making a big offer to Anunoby – if for no other reason than it would force New York to match the money,” Begley wrote on May 21.

Anunoby does not have the same resume as George does, but he fills a lot of holes. Because George has a reputation as an All-Star that Anunoby does not, it’s likely he will sign his next contract before Anunoby does. Doing so could open the opportunity for the latter to get more money on the open market. That could spell trouble for the Knicks.

OG Anunoby Wanted to Play in Game 7

Anunoby suffered a hamstring injury in Game 2 of the Knicks Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup with the Pacers. Doing so caused him to miss Games 3 through 6.

Despite the injury, Anunoby wanted to play in the decisive Game 7. Per Begley, Anunoby insisted that he play hurt.

“He wasn’t moving well. (Prior to Game 6), they didn’t think he was going to play,” a source told Begley. “But he was adamant about playing.”

Anunoby lasted five minutes before he had to leave the game because his injury was clearly affecting him. His health may have made all the difference in the series. His efforts should also help his case for a big pay raise this offseason. What remains to be seen is whether that pay raise will come from the Knicks.

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