The Raptors have exercised OG Anunoby‘s fourth-year rookie scale option well ahead of the October 31 deadline, according to Blake Murphy and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move locks in Anunoby’s $3,872,215 cap charge for the 2020/21 season.
Viewed as a potential breakout candidate entering the 2018/19 season, Anunoby instead took a step backward, enduring a rough sophomore year that saw him battle health issues and cope with the passing of his father.
After averaging 7.0 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 67 regular season games (20.2 MPG), the young forward didn’t play at all during the Raptors’ championship run, having undergone an emergency appendectomy just before the postseason got underway.
The Raptors still have high hopes for the 22-year-old, however, and he’ll get a chance to potentially reclaim a spot in the starting lineup this year in the wake of Kawhi Leonard‘s and Danny Green‘s offseason departures. Even if he comes off the bench, Anunoby is expected to have a significant rotation role.
With several sizeable expiring contracts on their books, the Raptors project to have more cap space than virtually any other NBA team during the 2020 offseason, so guaranteeing Anunoby’s salary will have little impact on the team’s flexibility. Toronto still has less than $20MM in guaranteed money on its cap for 2020/21, though that figure doesn’t include Stanley Johnson‘s $3.8MM player option or a potential extension for Pascal Siakam.