Jaden McDaniels extension sets lofty OG Anunoby price tag for Raptors

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 17: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 17: O.G. Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors were able to sign OG Anunoby to a four-year, $72 million deal at the beginning of the Nick Nurse era, and that contract has since evolved into one of the unquestioned best values for any player in the sport. Knowing this, the reigning steals champ is set to cash in as a free agent.

Anunoby and his agent have to be thrilled with all of the extensions that have recently been passed out to some of the younger players in the league. One of the most eye-popping such deals came courtesy of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jaden McDaniels, who will face OG, his brother Jalen, and the Raptors in their season opener.

McDaniels signed a five-year, $136 million extension even though such a deal would take Minnesota into the luxury tax. If a lesser version of Anunoby just got paid like this, imagine what the real version is going to get when his number gets called.

McDaniels is an up-and-coming two-way talent who is one of Minnesota’s best players, but his case for a hefty extension pales compared to what Anunoby has put on tape in the last few years. After this deal, Masai Ujiri and the front office must be well aware that the price has gone way up.

Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby contract got bigger after Jaden McDaniels deal.

As good as McDaniels was last season, he averaged just 9.6 points per game during his first three seasons in the pros and figured to be the No. 4 offensive option for Minnesota. If that’s worth $27 million per season, the deal Anunoby brings in could be even more shocking.

The Raptors are unwilling to dive into the luxury tax, yet are faced with the prospect of losing Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and Gary Trent Jr. in free agency. While it remains to be seen what will happen with Siakam and how much the team will prioritize Trent, Anunoby is likely high atop their priority list.

$30 million a year should be the absolute floor for Anunoby, even with his generally flatling offensive production and injury history that robbed him of games in his prime seasons. Switchability is at a premium nowadays, and few embody that trait more than him.

Masai Ujiri and the Raptors clearly value Anunoby as a player and a sign of the team’s developmental success, but the Raptors can’t steal him away on a cheaper deal anymore. Either pay up or let him walk.