Toronto Raptors small forward OG Anunoby is eligible to sign a contract extension for up to four years.
There is a big decision for the Toronto Raptors that they have to make which could affect their 2021 free agency plans. That decision has to do with OG Anunoby.
OG Anunoby has a contract extension deadline coming up soon and the Raptors can offer him the contract right now. But should they offer him the contract extension?
In most cases, the answer would be yes because Anunoby is a valuable piece and a key member of this team who is getting better each season. The 23-year-old from Indiana University, averaged 10.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 1.6 APG last season.
With Serge Ibaka leaving the Raptors to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers and Marc Gasol joining the Lakers, Anunoby will get the chance to increase his stats from the year before. In fact, I am expecting him to average around 14-17 points while also averaging seven or eight rebounds this season.
Why is this year different than any other year for the Toronto Raptors?
So again, in most cases, he should get the extension as soon as possible. But this time, Raptors president Masai Ujiri might be hesitant to offer him the contract due to the cap space in 2021.
According to ESPN’s Front Office Insider Bobby Marks, Anunoby could get an offer about four years worth $ 70 million. The problem is that right now Ujiri, Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster, and the Raptors front office staff have around $ 33 million left to spend.
And they want to spend that money on a superstar free agent like Giannis Antetokounmpo. With Anunoby potentially getting around $ 17.5 million per year, the Raptors will not have the money to sign a big-time free agent if they extend his contract.
With next year’s free agency class having top free agents like Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, Paul George, Victor Oladipo, DeMar DeRozan, and Andre Drummond, they are looking to get paid around $25-$40 million per year.
If Anunoby gets paid, they will only have around $15.5 million left. And Therefore, they will not have the money to get those players.
With that said, should they offer Anunoby the contract extension? Yes, they should offer him an extension.
The benefits and non-benefits of extending Anuoby’s contract
He is a restricted free agent next year if they do not extend his contract.
Being a restricted free agent means that you can sign with any team that you to play with and the team that you played with before will have a couple of days to match the offer. If they do not match the offer, then you are now playing for a different team.
They cannot afford to lose Anunoby because he is important to the team. He is a talented player who can shoot the three and play defense. He is still ascending as a player with great potential, so it’s not ideal to lose him for nothing.
Being an unrestricted free agent is different than being a restricted free agent because you can sign with any team you want with no restrictions. This is what the top free agents have because they are unrestricted free agents.
The top free agents usually wait days, maybe weeks to decide what team they want to play for. While the other free agents like Anunoby usually wait till the superstar players to decide because teams who are interested in those top players are not spending their money until their decision.
The Toronto Raptors shouldn’t let Anunoby leave without getting anything back in return
He could wait until the stars make their choice. However, there is usually a couple of teams that are not trying to get a superstar or a star player that just wants a player like Anunoby, and since they have the cap space, they can offer him that $70 million or at least close to that number to him right away.
So rather than losing him for nothing, the Raptors should offer him the contract extension that is worth $7-$13 million per year. They shouldn’t’ offer him the four years $70 contract because I don’t think he deserves that, at least not yet.
Even though there are players that are not better than Anunoby, they still should not offer him that kind of money because I think that contract should be only offered to All-Stars or at least almost an All-Star player.
I know that in the last saw years we saw players like Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov, and DeMarre Carrol getting that kind of money.
But Anunoby is not an All-Star at least not yet. I would like him to prove that he can be that kind of player first, then they can offer him $70 million.
This gives Toronto the flexibility to still sign a top free agent in the summer.
He should take a two or maybe even a three-year deal or take a four-year deal that has a player option instead because it gives him leverage when he becomes a free agent in a couple of years. That way if he becomes an All-Star, the Raptors will probably have to give him a contract with an estimate of $90 million.
But what if Anunoby wants the $70 million contract? Then offer him the contract and in next year’s offseason if they can still offer a top free agent a contract, trade him to another team for cap flexibility, and either draft picks or players with cheap contracts.
That wouldn’t be ideal for the Raptors to trade him because he’s important to this team. But sometimes, it’s necessary because only get one chance to sign someone like Antetokounmpo.
If no big star signs with Toronto, then we Anunoby for at least a couple more years.
There is no word right now if OG Anunoby wants to extend his contract or not. The Raptors have until Dec. 21 to offer the extension to Anunoby and he has the same amount of time to decide if he wants to accept or decline the offer.