Raptors In Difficult Spot With OG Anunoby

The Toronto Raptors received plentiful trade offers for All-Defensive Team forward OG Anunoby this past deadline, but Masai Ujiri and Co. didn't see anything they were interested in. Now, they're seemingly going to enter the coming season with Anunoby going into what, effectively, will be the last year of his contract.

OG has a player option after the 2023-24 season, at $19.9M. In today's NBA landscape, he can earn much more than that on the free market. 

Sure, the Raptors can try to extend Anunoby now or during the season, but here's where they're in a difficult spot: Due to CBA regulations, the maximum Toronto can offer him while he's still on his current deal is a four-year extension worth about $117M. That, too, would likely pale to what the 26-year-old could get as a free agent. For instance, he would command at least as much as Jerami Grant—not the full package of a player that Anunoby is—just got from Portland: five years, $160M. That's a $32M AAV. 

So what to do? The Raptors seem stuck. Either they trade him now or at next season's deadline, or risk losing him on the open market next summer. It would be a very sorry case of déjà vu for Toronto, after the team declined to trade Fred VanVleet at last season's deadline, and watched him leave for a shockingly large max contract by the Houston Rockets this offseason. 

The Raptors seem to have their hands tied, and it's hard to see how they get out of it. 

Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports