The Knicks will have to blow past $30 million per season for star free agent forward

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
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The New York Knicks had hoped to secure OG Anunoby with a contract of around $30 million per season. However, given his elite defensive capabilities and outstanding performance this past season, his salary expectations are likely to soar beyond $35 million.

The Knicks Need to Retain Anunoby

Anunoby, at 26 years old, is in the prime of his career and poised to settle into a long-term home. He split the last season between the Toronto Raptors and the Knicks, playing 27 games with the former and 23 games with the latter. Throughout the season, he averaged 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, with shooting stats of 48.9% from the field and 38.2% from three-point range.

NBA: Playoffs-New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers
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His scoring potential is often underrated, but it’s his defensive prowess that truly stands out. During the playoffs, Anunoby’s ability to neutralize top scorers becomes crucial for the Knicks.

Contract Negotiations Hit a Snag

Recent reports suggest Anunoby was not fully satisfied with the Knicks’ initial offer, prompting the front office to consider increasing their bid to secure his presence at Madison Square Garden for the upcoming seasons.

According to Greg Swartz from Bleacher Report, the Knicks are now contemplating a deal closer to $40 million per season rather than the initially hoped-for $30 million. With other teams ready to make competitive offers, finding a middle ground could be challenging.

“While getting OG Anunoby for $30 million per season would have been the dream for New York, expect the 26-year-old to sign a five-year, $200 million contract instead.”

Financial Implications and Roster Adjustments

Securing Anunoby to a long-term deal would necessitate some tough financial decisions for the Knicks. Strategies such as offloading Mitchell Robinson’s salary and potentially cutting Bojan Bogdanovic are being considered to maintain the core roster while using the draft to bolster team depth.

The road ahead might not be thrilling unless the Knicks manage to find a perfect trade. While the team seems content with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle as their main options, integrating Anunoby for a full season could significantly enhance their defensive capabilities.

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