Knicks Notes: Kanter, O’Quinn, Vogel, Ntilikina

While wrist and back issues have kept Enes Kanter out of action recently, he’d still like to return to action before the end of the season, suggesting this week that it would be “selfish” to shut himself down to focus on potential offseason free agency. As Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes, Kanter will face a decision this summer on an $18MM+ player option for 2018/19, but he’s putting that decision on the back-burner in the hopes of making it back for a couple late-season matchups against the Cavaliers.

“You’re always thinking the business part, but for me basketball comes first,” Kanter said. “We’ve got four games left and the Knicks are still paying me. The Knicks are paying for me to go out there and — if I’m healthy — to go out there to play. So if I feel really good, I’ll go out there and play.

“It’d be really selfish to think about opting in or opting out or thinking about my contract and not playing, giving up on my teammates and my team,” Kanter continued. “It’d be really selfish. For me the Knicks are still paying me, I’m still part of this team. If I’m still healthy I’m just going to go out there and fight.”

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Speaking of Kanter, some opposing executives have come away with the impression that the big man is leaning toward opting out in search of a multiyear deal this summer, says Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Begley also examines Kyle O’Quinn‘s impending free agency, exploring how likely New York is to re-sign O’Quinn after he turns down his own player option. According to Begley, Knicks coaches and executives think highly enough of O’Quinn that the club will consider bringing him back, depending on the price.
  • Current Magic head coach Frank Vogel admitted earlier this week that he thought he’d be hired by the Knicks in 2016, and was “surprised” when the team went in another direction, as Barbara Baker of Newsday details. “They said they had one more person they wanted to talk to before they wrapped up the process, and they met with Jeff [Hornacek], and Jeff must’ve blown them away,” Vogel said.
  • Hornacek spoke this week about Frank Ntilikina‘s development, and the next steps for the rookie point guard as he prepares for next season. Brian Lewis has the story and the quotes in an article for The New York Post.

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