Knicks Face $116.9 Million Ultimatum with Newest Trade Piece after Bidding RJ Barrett Farewell with 2023

Published 12/30/2023, 2:07 PM EST

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The New York Knicks ended the year with a bang. After reportedly looking for a potential big swing on the trade market for quite some time, they finally made a move. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Knicks sent RJ Barrett packing with Immanuel Quickley and New York’s second-round pick in 2024 to Manhattan in exchange for OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, and Precious Achiuwa.

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However, recent reports reveal the Knicks have a $116.9 million ultimatum waiting at their doorsteps with their newest trade piece.

The $116.9 million ultimatum

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In the wake of Mitchell Robinson’s injury, 3-and-D wing Anunoby will be a solid defensive addition to the team. The Knicks have been in pursuit of acquiring Anunoby for some time and finally brought him into the fold before he becomes a free agent in the offseason. However, today is the last day for Anunoby to sign a four-year, $116.9 million extension with the Knicks. He would again be eligible to strike a four-year, $117 million deal on June 30 after his 6-month extension restriction lifts. Within these six months, he will only be eligible to extend for two years for $40 million. However, if all goes awry, he still has a $19.9 million player option for 2024–25.

Whether he would sign the extension if the Knicks made an offer is another question. The Raptors were reportedly going to make an offer for an extension worth as much as $117 million over four years. As per Marc Stein, Anunoby was going to turn down any such contract overtures to hit free agency in pursuit of a more lucrative contract. Considering Dillon Brooks makes $20 million per season, signing a $30 million-per-year contract would be like selling himself short.

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Anunoby’s defensive presence is exactly what the Knicks needed

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Anunoby has been loyal to the Raptors throughout his seven-year career. However, now it is time for him to join forces with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle to help the Knicks make a deep run into the postseason. Not only does he bring his defensive prowess to the team, but he also brings championship pedigree. He won the 2019 NBA title with the Raptors and was also named to the All-Defensive Second Team last season.

The Knicks are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 17-14 record. A major part of their struggles has been the season-ending ankle injury to Mitchell Robinson, which has shaken the team’s defense. However, Anunoby fits the bill defensively and could help the team get back on track.

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What are your thoughts on the blockbuster trade? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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“When you think about winning, you go to the extreme '' - I try to stick by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s words. As a passionate reader, who found comfort in libraries, I am pursuing a degree course in English. With my newfound admiration for Giannis and the Bucks, I decided to explore NBA journalism as my career.
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