The Toronto Raptors could decide to extend OG Anunoby and bring an end to months of trade rumors. However, with the former first-rounder fresh off his first All-Defensive Team appearance, he is not going to accept anything less than a serious long-term payday.
Estimations from Bobby Marks of ESPN suggest that Anunoby’s extension could be as much as $116 million over four years under the new CBA. While this is a sharp rise in the going rate for his services, the Raptors also know they have a very unique talent on their hands who must be paid as such.
Rivals around the NBA, like the New York Knicks, have started to lock up some of their more prized rotation players, agreeing to a four-year, $81 million extension with recently acquired wing Josh Hart. Anunoby must like this deal, as his price on the open market will only go up after this deal.
If a player who has averaged 9.8 points per game in his career is going to be paid $20 million per season up until his age-33 campaign, paying Anunoby a shade under $30 million in that same timeframe could be yet another team-friendly extension for Masai Ujiri and the Raptors.
OG Anunoby contract could be cheap for Raptors after Josh Hart extension.
Anunoby is currently on one of the best contracts in the league if you’re looking at it from the perspective of a general manager. Getting quality shooting, ferocious defense, and championship experience on a four-year, $72 million deal in today’s NBA is quite the bargain.
While the raw dollars involved in this deal likely won’t be as shocking in the new few years if the cap continues to expand, the fact that a player who is several tiers below Anunoby as a two-way contributor is getting paid just under what the CBA will allow for an OG extension is stunning.
The Raptors appear to be teetering on the edge of a rebuild, but moves like this could force them to continue contending for a postseason spot. If they bottom out without Anunoby, they could find themselves at the bottom of one of the league’s toughest divisions for years.
The Raptors may need to dole out big contracts to Anunoby and Pascal Siakam while also saving room for names like Scottie Barnes if they want to keep this group together. However, suppose Anunoby will only make $9 million more per year than Hart. In that case, they can feel confident extending him relative to what the market says his performance is worth.