Hated Knicks rival will try to lure OG Anunoby to the dark side in free agency

OG is expected to decline his player option.
New York Knicks, OG Anunoby
New York Knicks, OG Anunoby / Elsa/GettyImages

The New York Knicks' top offseason priority is locking OG Anunoby into a new contract, as he's expected to decline his $19.9 million player option for 2024-25 to become a free agent. When they sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto at the end of December for Anunoby, the hope was that it'd pay off with a commitment from the wing in the offseason.

The Knicks catapulted into the contender category when Anunoby entered the starting lineup in January. Unfortunate injuries to Anunoby and Julius Randle at the end of the month led to uncertainty about the team's health, a trend that continued for the rest of the season.

Anunoby returned from elbow surgery but suffered another injury in New York's second-round series against Indiana. He started in Game 7 after missing four games but played less than five minutes before Tom Thibodeau pulled him.

Knicks fans hope the 26-year-old will sign a long-term contract with the team this summer, but there will be competition.

OG Anunoby is an offseason target for one of the Knicks' divison rivals

On Tuesday, SNY's Ian Begley reported that Anunoby "will likely" decline his option, allowing the Knicks to offer him a max deal worth $245 million across five years.

Begley also reiterated that the Sixers view Anunoby as an offseason target, as is Paul George, who could sign an extension to stay with the Clippers.

"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."

Ian Begley, SNY

On Thursday, Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer reported that there's a belief Anunoby could "consider" offers from opposing teams.

"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. 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."

Jake Fischer, Yahoo Sports

If you're a worried Knicks fan, it makes sense why you feel that way; Anunoby's future is in his hands. He's said he's enjoyed being in New York, but he'd be doing a disservice if he didn't talk to other teams in free agency. To make you feel better, he's a CAA client and is represented by Sam Rose, Leon Rose's son.

It's impossible to know what will happen, but hopefully, as Josh Hart said, Anunoby will be back in New York.