The New York Knicks have an opportunity to significantly refresh their roster this off-season. However, the possibility of securing a superstar to join forces with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle seems remote. This doesn’t mean that the Knicks can’t acquire a player to enhance their chances of contending, but it will likely involve a substantial commitment in terms of future draft capital.
In this scenario, we examine the prospect of acquiring Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby, an athlete who pairs strong defense with formidable scoring ability.
The Knicks’ Offer: Future Draft Picks
What the Knicks Give Up:
To secure a deal that leaves RJ Barrett on their side, the Knicks may have to wager their future first-round draft selections, which could be the more favorable move. Barrett, just 23 years old, is coming off a slightly underwhelming season but still has plenty of room for development.
For a player of Anunoby’s caliber, the Knicks are prepared to offer the next three years of first-round draft picks. These valuable assets, coupled with the remainder of Evan Fournier’s contract, might be the bait needed to reel in Anunoby.
Evan Fournier’s Role:
The inclusion of Evan Fournier in the deal is crucial. With Fournier owed $18.8 million for the 2023-24 season before becoming a free agent, this move would free up a significant amount of salary space for the Knicks to accommodate Anunoby’s $18.6 million AAV.
However, this move does carry a risk. Anunoby has a player option for the 2024-25 season worth around $20 million, which could see him become a free agent if the Knicks fail to extend his contract.
- Knicks have No. 18 ranked strength of schedule for 2023-24
- Knicks’ RJ Barrett open to new role off the bench
- Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau oozing with excitement entering new season
Anunoby: A Promising Addition to the Knicks
What the Knicks Receive:
The potential addition of Anunoby could significantly strengthen the Knicks. Anunoby is not just a strong shooter, recording a .556 effective field goal rate and averaging 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals last season, but also an exceptional defender. His defensive skill would be a notable addition to the Knicks’ roster.
With the Knicks in need of both offensive spacing and enhanced defense, Anunoby could make an immediate impact next season. His theoretical role would replace Quentin Grimes, who would move to the bench to provide shooting and defense as a rotational player.
The Big Question: Are the Knicks Contention Ready?
While Anunoby’s addition could significantly bolster the Knicks, it begs the question of whether this move is enough to place them in a serious contention position. Without a superstar to pair with Brunson and Randle, or the prospect of replacing Randle with a player of Joel Embiid’s stature, it remains uncertain if the team has sufficient firepower to compete effectively.