Enes Kanter raised some eyebrows and the Thunder drew critisim when the center landed a maximum-salary offer sheet last summer, but the first year of the contract was a success, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman writes. Kanter delivered despite defensive flaws because of his durability and consistency on offense, Slater notes. Kanter signed a four-year, $70MM deal, but came off the bench in a role he unexpectedly thrived in, Slater adds. The Thunder believes Kanter really started to turn a defensive corner around mid-March and the team appreciated his unselfish attitude, Slater relays.
Here’s more on the Thunder:
- It does not make much sense for Kevin Durant, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st to sign a long-term deal without knowing what Russell Westbrook will do next year, when he becomes a free agent, Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com opines in an Insider piece. Considering the Thunder’s run this year, Durant likely thinks the team can capture a championship next season, Elhassan surmises. The Spurs would be a logical option next summer for Durant if he chooses to ink a short-term deal with the Thunder in order to maximize on the league’s expected salary cap rise, Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com suggests in the same story.
- Serge Ibaka, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2016/17 season, adapted well this year into the role of a stretch four, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman details. In Tramel’s report card on Ibaka, the scribe notes, however, that Ibaka voiced frustration during the middle of the season over not handling the ball as much as he was used to.