New York Knicks rumor: Is OG Anunoby planning to force team into an expensive bidding war this summer?

New York Knicks
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While New York Knicks fans are hopeful OG Anunoby will be back with the team next season, a new report suggests he and his representation will work to force the organization to give him as big a contract as possible.

The Knicks were a good team in the Eastern Conference for the first few months of the season, but when OG Anunoby arrived via a trade late in December they became an elite squad. The 26-year-old fit in seamlessly with his new teammates and their defense-driven style of play.

When he was on the court, New York was 20-3 during the regular season and earned the No. 2 seed in the conference. He played a huge role in their quarterfinal victory over the Philadelphia 76ers and his hamstring injury in Game 2 of the semifinals is what many point to as a pivotal moment in their eventual downfall against the Indiana Pacers.

Also Read: 10 big moves the New York Knicks could make this summer, including trading for Kevin Durant

In a short amount of time, the seven-year veteran did a lot to add a massive amount of value to himself. While he isn’t officially set to be a free agent after the season, everything points to him opting out of the $19 million in the final year of his contract. Re-signing him will be a top priority for New York this summer.

Unfortunately, it looks like that won’t be easy. Fellow Raptors veteran Pascal Siakam was traded soon after Anunoby, and despite the two-time All-Star having the better resume to go test his value in the open market, he is expected to quickly re-sign with the Pacers, according to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer.

“While league personnel are of the mind Siakam will certainly be re-signing with Indiana, there was word circling among team officials at last week’s NBA Draft Combine that Anunoby’s situation with the Knicks is not as cut and dried,” Fischer wrote Thursday. “Perhaps those signals to rival teams will only help Anunoby elicit a larger dollar figure from the Knicks.”

The expectation already was that Anunoby would get a very good deal when he hit NBA free agency, but now he has the leverage to get even more after a fantastic last few months. Furthermore, the Philadelphia 76ers — the team with the second most cap space this summer — are expected to make a strong push for Anunoby. That could push the asking price to a level New York may have trouble reaching.

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