“The Raptors continue to consistently resist trade inquiries for in-demand swingman O.G. Anunoby, but there is a bit of Anunoby news for those interested in player representation and its accompanying machinations,” Stein wrote in his subscription-based Substack newsletter. “Word is Anunoby is leaving Klutch Sports and soon to choose new representation.”
The Knicks’ interest in Anunoby has been widely reported since the February trade deadline, first by SNY’s Ian Begley. Sportsnet Canada also reported that the Knicks were prepared to offer three first-round picks, “but the quality of those picks isn’t exactly high-end.”
The Knicks have six of their own first-round picks and four more from other teams with varying protections at their disposal to upgrade their 47-win roster that came two wins away from reaching the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
An Eastern Conference general manager once again linked the Knicks as a potential landing spot for Anunoby this offseason.
“The Knicks are in a good position to really look at using the picks they have to get a wing defender who can solidify the rest of the roster,” the NBA GM told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney.
Anunoby, who will turn 26 next month, can become an unrestricted free agent after next season if he declines his $19.9 million player option. Anunoby’s previous agent Omar Wilkes left Klutch Sports in March to join Fanatics Collectibles as Head of Athlete Relations.
RJ Barrett Has Fans in Clippers Organization
“I do know — the Clippers over there — there are some fans of RJ Barrett,” SNY’s Knicks insider Ian Begley said on the June 23 episode of The Putback.
Barrett is 11 years younger than George, who has been in and out of the Clippers’ lineup due to various injuries. But when healthy, George is one of the better two-way wings in the league.
In 56 games this past season, George put up 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals on a 46/37/87 shooting split to earn his eighth All-Star berth. A knee injury kept him off the homestretch of the regular season and the Clippers’ first-round exit.
George is eligible for a four-year, $220 million extension in September. On the other hand, Barrett’s four-year, $107 million extension is set to kick in next season.
Knicks, Josh Hart Extend Player Option Deadline
Josh Hart and the Knicks have agreed to extend the deadline on his $12.9 million player option until Thursday, according to ESPN.
The Knicks can access their full $12.4 million non-taxpayer midlevel exception if Hart opts in. In this scenario, Hart will become extension-eligible in August and have a six-month trade restriction.
The Knicks could use the non-taxpayer MLE to sign a free agent such as Golden State Warriors’ free-agent-to-be Donte DiVincenzo, who Hart has been recruiting to join him and Jalen Brunson in New York. The trio won a national championship with Villanova in 2016.