Knicks’ OG Anunoby Declines Player Option, Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent

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New York Knicks OG Anunoby Declines Player Option in Contract, Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby has opted out of his contract and into free agency, according to NBA insiders. Anunoby signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Toronto Raptors in 2020 with a player option for the 2024-25 season.

New York Knicks traded for OG Anunoby with the Toronto Raptors in December 2023

In December 2023, the Knicks traded RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickly, and a 2024 second-round draft picks to the Raptors for Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn. New York inherited the terms of the deal but risked losing Anunoby as an unrestricted free agent.

Anunoby’s player option is worth $19.9 million next season. Since the salary cap has risen to $141 million for the 2024-25 season, his next contract is projected to top $35 million per season.

His new deal could exceed the four-year, $118 million contract extension that “Anunoby was limited to signing but would not have accepted with the Raptors,” Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer said in January.

An NBA executive recently said Anunoby is holding the Knicks “by the balls,” per The Athletic’s Fred Katz.

“They can’t lose him, the same way [Pascal] Siakam’s getting the max from [the] Indiana [Pacers]. You can’t trade for somebody, give so much up and then let him go. It’s not feasible,” the source told Katz.

More importantly, injuries have sidelined Anunoby for a number of games. He missed 76 total games the past three seasons and did not play during Toronto’s NBA championship run in 2019 following an emergency appendectomy.

Anunoby was +111 through his first five games with New York

Anunoby, who turns 27 next month, averaged 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists last season in 50 total regular-season games with the Raptors (27 games) and Knicks (23 games).

The 6-foot-7 forward was +111 through his first five games with New York. He became the first player in NBA history to record a plus/minus above 100 in his first five games with a franchise.

In his five games in a Knicks uniform, Anunoby averaged 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 33.5 minutes per game while shooting 54.9% from the floor and 45.5% from beyond the arc.

During the 2024 playoffs, Anunoby played a role in helping the Knicks to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers. However, he suffered a hamstring injury in the seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers.

In 418 career games (344 starts), Anunoby has averaged 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals during his first seven NBA seasons. Plus, he has shot 47.4% from the floor, 37.6% from 3-point range, and 74.5% at the foul line.

The Knicks are also negotiating with unrestricted free agent center Isaiah Hartenstein, 26, in efforts to retain the 7-footer. Though, the club is limited to a maximum salary of $16.2 million per season.

NBA free agency begins Sunday, June 30.