NBA rumors: OG Anunoby eyeing free agency, refusing long-term deal

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have some big decisions to make in the next few months, as Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. are all free agents at the end of this season. Masai Ujiri’s reluctance to sign any one of those three to a long-term contract could lead to a chaotic offseason.

Ujiri has a particular fondness for Anunoby, whom he has constantly refused trade offers for over the years and has been unwilling to include in trade packages for superstars like Damian Lillard. Anunoby, who wants to stay, is eyeing a big nine-figure contract this offseason.

The Raptors can offer Anunoby an extension worth as much as $117 million over four years, which could pay him just under $30 million per season. That’s a big chunk of change, but there’s a possibility of him earning more if he comes out firing offensively in 2023.

According to Marc Stein, Anunoby is ready to turn down any contract overtures from Toronto and hit free agency with the goal of getting an even bigger contract. This is slightly risky, but OG is betting on himself in Darko Rajakovic’s new offense-centric style of play.

NBA rumors: Toronto Raptors SF OG Anunoby testing free agency.

Anunoby averaged 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season, though his biggest achievements came on the defensive end of things. OG finished with a league-best 1.9 steals per game, finally getting the league-wide credit he deserves by making the All-Defensive team.

The Raptors need to figure out what is happening with Pascal Siakam while also making themselves financially flexible enough to absorb a hefty Scottie Barnes contract in the future. Anunoby may not be the top priority in that regard, but Ujiri clearly wants him around.

Anunoby will need to take steps forward offensively to justify such a huge contract, as his terrific shooting can be let down by poor dribbling and an inability to look for the extra pass when he gets a full head of steam. Still, his defensive gifts are too unique to let hit the market.

In an offseason when Dillon Brooks just got over $20 million per season despite being a worse player and tanking his value, Anunoby taking $117 million might be selling himself short. Toronto drafted and developed him, but will they give him a second big contract?