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The New York Knicks “made a play” for Toronto Raptors small forward OG Anunoby last season, according to The Athletic’s Fred Katz.
That could potentially change in 2024. Anunoby is heading into the final guaranteed year of his contract and has not yet accepted his $19.9 million player option for 2024-25.
With Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. looking at expiring contracts next year, the 9-12 Raptors could potentially end up sellers around the February trade deadline.
If they are, the Knicks could once again become a candidate to trade for Anunoby.
Heading into Friday night’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets, Anunoby has averaged 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists through 17 starts so far this season.
For the fifth straight season, he is also averaging over one steal per game.
Last season the sixth-year forward averaged 1.9 steals per game to edge out Jimmy Butler for the best average in the NBA.
That career-best average came as Anunoby took on some of the Raptors’ most difficult defensive matchups, often defending against star players ranging from Nikola Jokić to DeMar DeRozan.
That workload earned Anunoby attention from more than just the Knicks.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Indiana Pacers president Kevin Pritchard has been “really aggressive” about “offering big trade packages for players who could become free agents in the near future,” like Anunoby.
ESPN’s Tim McMahon reported in September that the Memphis Grizzlies, who reportedly offered the Raptors three first-round picks for Anunoby at the 2023 trade deadline, had “high interest” in him over the offseason as well.
Even if the Raptors decide to put Anunoby on the trade block before the upcoming deadline and his potential free agency, the Knicks may have to compete with the Pacers, Grizzlies and other interested suitors for a shot at a player on track to earn his second career NBA All-Defensive Team nomination this season.