The Toronto Raptors have announced that they’re picking up their team options on the contracts of both Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. This ensures both players will remain under contract with the team through the end of the 2019-20 season.
Meanwhile, the team has declined to pick up a similar option for Malachi Richardson. Richardson will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season.
The deadline for picking up the options is today, October 31.
Picking up the options on Siakam and Anunoby is a no-brainer for the Raps; both are exceeding the typical level of play of picks generally taken in their spots (27th and 23rd, respectively, in 2016 and 2017) and have made impressive contributions to the team’s success in their young careers.
Siakam has improved by leaps and bounds each season, and is averaging 10.9 points and 7 rebounds so far this season—and he’s already set new single-game career highs in both.
Anunoby has been limited to five games so far this season, but has also shown growth off of his impressive rookie season—and better hops, too, as he appears fully recovered from the knee injury he sustained in college.
With their positional versatility and ability to play both ends of the floor, Siakam and Anunoby figure to be key components of the Raptors’ future.
With Richardson, the case is a little more murky; the Raptors seem to like what he brings to the table, in terms of both his scoring ability and his size, but at this point I don’t think he’s shown enough to justify the investment past this season, especially as the Raptors already have a hefty payroll to account for next summer (Richardson’s salary would be small, but every dollar counts—and counts even more when you get into luxury tax range).
The Raptors will continue to evaluate Richardson this season and if his development takes a positive spike, they can always offer him a new contract in free agency.