NBA Rumors: recently added Knicks player may command $150 million this summer

Tom Thibodeau
Tom Thibodeau / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The playoffs are just weeks away and the New York Knicks are trying to get some of their best players healthy ahead of a potentially grueling postseason. OG Anunoby is one of those players who was acquired by the Knicks in a mid-season deal with the Toronto Raptors in hopes of bolstering their playoff chances.

Initially, it appeared to be a great move, with New York going on a tear with him but Anunoby has been battling a shoulder injury since February that threatens to keep him out for the postseason, or at least part of it.

Still, according to The Athletic’s Tim Cato, he could command around $150 million in free agency this summer. After trading key young players such as RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley for Anunoby, the Knicks likely knew that he would command a significant salary this summer.

They also have his bird rights, meaning that they have the ability to meet his contract demands. Even still, paying a player who isn't an all-star $37.5 million a year on average could give Knicks fans sticker shock.

OG Anunoby's reported contract demands are large but not unreasonable.

If Anunoby gets that rumored deal, then he would become the Knicks' highest-paid player next season. Compare that to all-star Julius Randle, who will make $27.5 million next season and Jalen Brunson, who will make just $24.9 million, and the pressure would be on Anunoby to perform.

That is especially true in New York, where the media is notoriously tough on athletes if they underperform expectations. Still, he is one of the best defensive wings in the NBA and is a more than capable offensive player. Two-way wings like him are rare and he may be paid accordingly.

Of course, with the salary cap increasing year over year, it really depends on when a player hits free agency. In two seasons, Randle and Brunson could command even more than Anunoby, while Anunoby's large contract may look a lot more reasonable.

All in all, Anunoby could command as much as $150 million in free agency this summer but is currently battling injuries. If he can come back and make an impact on the Knicks during the playoffs, then he'd be worth every penny.