NBA Rumors: 76ers could steal OG Anunoby after potential Knicks red flag

New York is believed to be the favorites for OG Anunoby, but this potential red flag could give the Philadelphia 76ers the chance to steal him.
76ers, OG Anunoby, Joel Embiid
76ers, OG Anunoby, Joel Embiid / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

No team has a more pressing need for a starting-caliber forward than the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that will enter the offseason without a natural forward on their roster. All of their rotation 3’s and 4’s from this season are bona fide flight risks, but thankfully, the front office has apparently been making rounds seeking for the best player possible to fill the void.

One of the players linked to Philly, aside from the A-list stars who will hit the market, is OG Anunoby, who will decline his player option to milk as much money as possible, albeit deservedly so, in free agency. New York is strongly believed to be the frontrunners to keep him in the fold, but this rumored wrinkle could give the 76ers the chance to swipe him away from the Big Apple.

Rumored wrinkle in potential Knicks offer could give the 76ers an edge for OG Anunoby

Ian Begley, an NBA Insider for SporsNet New York, acknowledges that the 76ers are a strong suitor for Anunoby, but ultimately predicts him re-upping with the Knicks with a defining and conditional incentive.

"The Knicks were excellent with Anunoby on the floor. He missed significant time with an elbow injury and a hamstring strain. So it’s logical for the Knicks to include some incentives based on games played. But Anunoby’s impact on winning was obvious. So I don’t think they will let him sign elsewhere this summer."

Anunoby’s camp will definitely haggle for the best terms possible, but incentives tend to be misleading in terms of contract values. Often, teams opt for a safer number before trying to sweeten the pot with achievable conditions that would lead to tempting incentives when reached.

How could the 76ers capitalize on this? Well, Philadelphia has the needed financial power and executive audacity (familiar with Daryl Morey?) to give Anunoby what he wants outright. Even if the front office believes it has a solid chance to land a more sterling target, the prospect of Anunoby playing for the team on a still relatively cheaper price tag than most of his contemporaries could prompt them to make a offer that would be difficult to accept.

New York only had Anunoby for a couple of months, so there’s not much sentimental value there to lure him in. They will have to outbid every competitor on sheer terms, and a team like the 76ers have the means — and the actual need — to be ultra-aggressive. It’s almost imperative at this point.

Hopefully, the Philadelphia 76ers do live up to their billing as a massive spender this offseason. If they do, a bunch of possibilities, like getting a perfect third fiddle in OG Anunoby, would be available for their own choosing.

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