The New York Knicks made only one move ahead of the February trade deadline, but it’s a move that fans have had no complaints about. Josh Hart has been invaluable for the Knicks thus far. He isn’t the star player that the organization has been patiently waiting for, but he’s still proven to be a huge boost.
There were talks about OG Anunoby potentially being traded to the Knicks with the Raptors expected to be sellers, but instead, Toronto opted to only trade for Jakob Poeltl. Although there were interested teams, Anunoby remained a Raptor.
The 25-year-old is signed through the 2023-24 season with a $19.9 million player option for 2024-25 that he is expected to decline in favor of a larger contract as an unrestricted free agent. According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, that’s part of what kept New York from going all-in on him.
"There were rumblings the Knicks talked to the Raptors about Evan Fournier, and I think it was three first-round picks for OG Anunoby, but talks didn’t go far, I was told… I’d assume there were protections of some kind. There was also uncertainty if Anunoby would want to stay with the Knicks in the summer of 2024 when he’s expected to opt out of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent. He’s (Anunoby) on a good contract now, but some executives think he’s going to cost too much once he hits the open market."
Knicks-Raptors reportedly discussed deal involving Evan Fournier, OG Anunoby ahead of deadline
Although Evan Fournier was removed from Tom Thibodeau’s tight rotation earlier in the season and has been a non-factor for the Knicks, he stayed put in New York past the deadline. He’ll officially be on an expiring contract during the offseason, which will make a trade easier for the Knicks.
In retrospect, it’s a good thing that talks between New York and Toronto didn’t go anywhere. Instead of sending three picks and Fournier to the Raptors, the Knicks decided to play it safe. Sure, fans might’ve been disappointed that the front office didn’t make a major move at the deadline, but Toronto’s asking price for Anunoby was high and a Zach LaVine trade wouldn’t have been worth it.
With the Raptors staying in play-in range in the East, an Anunoby trade is something to watch for during the summer. However, with there being questions about him becoming a free agent in 2024, he’s no longer a player that New York should be interested in. The last thing that fans should want is for the front office to throw first-round picks at the Raptors for a one-year rental.