The New York Knicks didn't send RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors so that they'd get OG Anunoby as a short-term rental. Like the Josh Hart trade last season, the Knicks want Anunoby to be in New York long-term.
If there was any hesitation from outsiders about how Anunoby would fit with the Knicks, there no longer should be any. New York won five straight games once he debuted, including a 36-point victory in Philadelphia.
The 26-year-old is set to enter unrestricted free agency over the summer, which is why Toronto was willing to part with him. There never seemed to be much chance he'd sign an extension with the Raptors. Rather than lose him in free agency like they did Fan VanVleet last year, Toronto sent Anunoby to a division rival.
Because of when the Knicks traded for him, the organization could sign him to an extension on June 30.
The Knicks can extend OG Anunoby before he hits free agency
On the latest episode of the HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto and ESPN's Bobby Marks discussed Anunoby's future. The Knicks didn't wait until the deadline to trade for Anunoby, which could play in their favor.
"When OG got traded on December 30th, which was the deadline since there’s a six-month restriction for players who get traded for when they can extend. I think it’s certainly worth talking about here. I think a lot of it had to do with getting him in the building for six months or getting him situated instead of doing a trade deadline deal."- Bobby Marks, HoopsHype podcast
Scotto noted that New York could sign Anunoby to an extension worth about four years, $117 million. The Knicks could sign him to a five-year contract if he hits free agency.
After the trade happened, Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer reported that Anunoby was looking for an extension worth $40 million annually. New York is in luck, though.
"However, Anunoby did leave those potential agents with the impression he would be willing to accept a smaller figure if he were to have landed in New York, sources said. And it’s relevant to note the Indiana product did ultimately sign with CAA, which has deep connections to New York leadership."- Jake Fischer, Yahoo Sports
One of the people Anunoby is represented by at CAA is Sam Rose, the son of Leon Rose. That's a fact that definitely shouldn't be overlooked.
Whether it be on June 30 or in free agency, fans can expect the Knicks to retain Anunoby, especially given how well the trade has worked out for the wing and New York.