Locking Up The Youth

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Raptors Exercise Option on Anunoby, Working on Extension with Siakam

As the Toronto Raptors made their way to Tokyo for some preseason action, management continued to work on locking up their future pieces.

This weekend, the team announced that it has exercised its fourth-year team option on the rookie scale contract of forward OG Anunoby. Anunoby, who’s had a down sophomore year, partially due to an assortment of injuries including an appendectomy which kept him out of the 2019 postseason, is now signed through the 2020-21 season.

“OG had a very unlucky year last year, I think, and he’s had a very good summer and pre-season in terms of just training before today,” said Raptors president Masai Ujiri on media day. “We’re excited about that.”

The excitement surrounding the 22-year old Anunoby’s summer has been a topic of much conversation early on in the Raptors’ training camp. Many among the organization believe that this will be the year that the 6-foot-8 versatile forward takes a big step forward and establishes himself as an important piece of the franchise’s future.

“[Anunoby’s] a guy who’s gonna have a good year,” said head coach Nick Nurse. “He’s really in good shape. His body looks great, he’s healthy. His mindset seems to be really free and clear and happy. He’s out there playing with a little more of a smile on his face in the pick-up games I saw in the last few weeks and he’s gonna have a great year.”

Meanwhile, the Raptors continue to make progress in their extension talks with Pascal Siakam according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and both sides hope to reach a deal prior to the deadline in the next couple of weeks. Siakam has expressed his interest to re-sign with the Raptors.

Siakam is reportedly looking for the max and is eligible to sign a five-year, $170 million extension with the team. If he does reach restricted free agency, rival teams will be able to offer him a four-year, $130 million max deal.

By waiting on the extension, the Raptors will be able to create $81.1 million in cap space.

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