Knicks’ OG Anunoby Predicted to Land $200 Million Contract in Free Agency

If the New York Knicks hold any reservations about signing OG Anunoby to a contract that pays him $35 million annually, things could get interesting this offseason.

The basis for that consternation in league circles is Anuoby’s lack of availability in his career. He has appeared in at least 65 games – the league’s new minimum requirement to qualify for season-long awards – just three times in his career.

He appeared in 50 games this past season, including 23 impactful performances for the Knicks.

“An average of $40 million a year on a new five-year contract seems like a lot for a player who averaged a modest 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in his 34.9 minutes a game following a trade to the New York Knicks,” Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz wrote on June 20.

“Given his impact on winning (20-3 record with the Knicks), leverage he can get from other teams with max cap space (hello, Philadelphia 76ers) and that his agent, Sam Rose, also represents Brunson and is the son of Knicks president Leon Rose, it’s safe to say Anunoby is going to get paid.

“While getting Anunoby for $30 million per season would have been the dream for New York, expect the 26-year-old to sign a five-year, $200 million contract instead.”

The Knicks did not trade for Anunoby to simply let him walk this offseason.

However, there are significant roster-building implications for the Knicks front office to consider with such a large commitment. The team did get just as far in the postseason last year without the former Toronto Raptor.

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Multiple Teams Loom as Threats to Poach OG Anunoby From Knicks in Free Agency

Anunoby is still under contract for next season. But he has a $19.9 million player option that he is widely expected to turn down. Swartz’s scenario means an additional $60 million for Anunoby. That could significantly strain the Knicks’ other plans this offseason.

“Anunoby is an All-NBA defender and should see a significant pay increase from his $19.9 million player option,” ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote. “The question is how much. The Knicks have meticulously structured their finances, with no player earning more than $30 million next season. Could Anunoby be the first? And would New York risk drawing a line in the sand financially, with teams like Detroit, Orlando, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Utah all projected to have at least $30 million in room?”

OG ANUNOBY OH MY GOODNESS 😱

NYK leads in the 4Q on TNT! pic.twitter.com/SRZfWjCd23

— NBA (@NBA) May 3, 2024

Marks pointed to the new TV deal which kicks in in 2025-26 and the expected 10% annual salary cap increase windfall as notable points to consider with Anunoby’s next contract.

But it is not just about Anunoby’s future.

Isaiah Hartenstein and Jalen Brunson Loom Over OG Anunoby’s Future

Anunoby led the Knicks with a plus-23.9 on-off differential last season, per Cleaning The Glass. Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hatenstein were behind him with differentials of plus-14.5 and plus-11.1, respectively.

They also logged more than double the possessions of their more versatile teammate, and are each due for new money.

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Hartenstein is the immediate issue as an unrestricted free agent with an anticipated rich market.

Hartenstein protects the rim and Brunson finishes on the other end for 41!

📺 Knicks-Suns | Live on ESPN pic.twitter.com/qksPmn9awF

— NBA (@NBA) December 16, 2023

But Bruson is an extension candidate and in line for a significant raise from his four-year, $104 million contract in Marks’ estimation. Brunson is under contract for $24.9 million in 2024-25. However, he has an equally valued player option for 2025-26.

How much the Knicks are willing to invest in this group before seeing more postseason success is unclear.

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