No ‘guarantee’ the Knicks can extend elite defensive forward

May 2, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) reacts to his three pointer against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half of game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are gearing up for a significant offseason, with one of their top priorities being the potential extension of OG Anunoby, who joined the team from the Toronto Raptors at the trade deadline. Anunoby has quickly proven to be a valuable asset, both as a formidable defender and an underrated scorer.

Despite battling injuries, his performance during the postseason was instrumental, contributing 14.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and showcasing his defensive prowess with 1.7 steals per game while shooting 48.8% from the field and 39.4% from three-point range.

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby
Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Anunoby’s Free Agency Prospects and Knicks’ Challenges

While Anunoby has had a solid season and demonstrated his potential to be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, his future with the Knicks is uncertain. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report

“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…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.”

The Knicks are positioned to offer Anunoby a significant contract, but they face stiff competition from teams with deeper pockets and attractive young rosters.

The San Antonio Spurs, for example, could present a compelling option for Anunoby, offering him the chance to join forces with Victor Wembanyama and a promising group of young players poised to elevate their game.

However, the prospect of what a fully healthy Knicks team could achieve should not be underestimated. This season hinted at a potential championship run, a factor that Anunoby will likely consider seriously alongside financial incentives. The decision for Anunoby will weigh heavily on whether he sees his long-term future in New York and if he believes the Knicks can make a championship push next season.

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