NBA Rumors: Knicks To Have Competition From 1 Big Rival For OG Anunoby

It's been assumed to be a fait accompli that OG Anunoby will re-sign with the New York Knicks to stave off his entry into free agency this summer. But not so fast.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, unlike his former Toronto Raptors teammate who was also traded, OG will in fact likely become a full-fledged free agent. 

While league personnel are of the mind (Pascal) 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... Various teams left Chicago with the belief that Anunoby could reach unrestricted free agency and consider deals from other franchises in addition to New York, sources said.

There is a possibility, of course, that the Anunoby camp is putting that out there as a negotiating ploy, in order to extract as much as they can from the Knicks. But once he declines his $19.9 million option and enters the free market, it could be fair game. 

Anonoby's value to the Knicks cannot be understated. He posted a ridiculous plus/minus of +353 of just 23 games after arriving at Madison Square Garden in a trade from Toronto at New Year's. Over his first 15 games in New York, his +282 is the highest plus/minus by any player in NBA history over his first 15 games with a new team.

But one team that is expected to be at the front of the line to try to steal Anunoby from New York would be the team with his former championship head coach. With Tobias Harris' massive deal off the books, Nick Nurse and the Philadelphia 76ers, if they are unable to woo Paul George in free agency, are rumored to be interested in Anunoby as a fallback star.

As noted by Fischer, "only OG Anunoby would represent an option close to George’s prowess and close to representing a top-tier third star who can test the open market."

Photo: © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports