Enes Kanter Exercises Player Option

JUNE 29, 1:22pm: Kanter has officially picked up his option, his manager Hank Fetic confirms to Begley (Twitter link).

JUNE 29, 9:19am: Kanter plans to exercise his 2018/19 option later today, per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

JUNE 28, 10:54am: Knicks center Enes Kanter is leaning “heavily” toward exercising the 2018/19 player option on his contract, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.com (via Twitter). According to Begley, Kanter will continue to survey his market in advance of Friday’s deadline, but he’s a strong bet to ultimately opt in.

If Kanter does pick up his option, he’ll be in line for a guaranteed salary worth $18,622,514 next season. He could probably exceed that figure in terms of total value if he were to hit the open market and sign a new multiyear contract. However, in that scenario, he’d almost certainly have to accept a more modest starting salary for 2018/19.

Kanter, a former third overall pick, enjoyed a productive season for the Knicks after coming over in last September’s Carmelo Anthony trade with Oklahoma City. In 71 games (all starts), he averaged a double-double, recording 14.1 PPG and 11.0 RPG.

In the wake of his solid 2017/18 showing, Kanter said in his exit interview with the media that he was leaning toward opting out of his deal to sign a longer-term agreement. However, agent Mark Bartelstein quickly walked back his client’s comments, saying that it was too early to make any decisions. Kanter claimed earlier this week that he’d draw interest from at least four or five teams if he were to opt out.

Assuming Kanter formally exercises his option, it will essentially eliminate the Knicks’ chances of creating cap room for the 2018 offseason, barring major trades or cuts. Kanter’s $18MM+ cap hit would increase New York’s total team salary to approximately $94MM for 10 players. That figure doesn’t count non-guaranteed salaries for Trey Burke or Troy Williams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

newest oldest

26 thoughts on “Enes Kanter Exercises Player Option

  1. Dionis

    No one is paying you 18 mill although maybe the Knicks can rework his contract. Maybe offer him a new 3 year 48 million dollar deal.

  2. Odd situation. The Knicks apparently wanted him to “opt in” – which is not the usual approach for a rebuilding team (whether they want the guy or not). I’m sure they handled it poorly.

  3. Michael Chaney

    Easy choice. He’s not gonna make that much next year playing for anyone else.

  4. cesc

    Agree he is just grabbing the money & running with it, no one will ever give him so much money per year again.

  5. justreading

    knicks want kanter to opt-in so they can trade him at the deadline and get anything. im sure kanter and his agent know this.

  6. justreading

    think about it, hes serviceable for half a year (double/doubles) trade him halfway through
    to a contender who takes on only 1\2 year of a big man ($9mm) who then leaves and maybe get back something young. kanter cant get that $ your right but also doesn’t want to be traded mid year that is what he is wrangling about.

  7. Robert Henry Labanowski

    I hope Mills and Perry are smart enough to figure this out. I’m not.

  8. The Knicks asked him to opt in. I’m not sure what their reasoning is, but I doubt it has anything to do with a potential deadline trade. More likely they want to see if he can build on last year and keep their options open. The cap space that his opting out would have created wouldn’t be that valuable if it wasn’t going to be used on LT contracts, and using it at all would cost them the MLE and BAE.

  9. davidmp2

    Kanter, himself, responded to Sham’s tweet stating he had not decided yet.

  10. SilvioDante

    Of course he is … Enes ain’t no dummy! There was a less than zero chance he would find a team willing to pay him that much this season, and so take the big check now and prepare for a mid-level offer next summer is the best way for him to go.

  11. Spike4christ

    I think he knows he will have a good year without KP playing much and he will not make that money next year anywhere. He can show he is getting better and get a deal next summer.

    • x%sure

      His D can only improve! If it does…

      The league-wide salary pinch is a reaction to the laegue-wide salary fart of 2016. Next year, and especially two years from now, rosters will be bare, and there will be money for a rush to sign players.
      Kanter could see $18mil again!

  12. justreading

    the knicks came right out and said they are trying to create cap room for summer 2019.
    this is what they want a serviceable double
    /double tradable center on a one year contract. opens up for a free agent when porzingis comes back with knox and next years #1, worth a shot

  13. mets2424

    This is a perfect guy to build around our young guys. And next year with another top 10 pick and Irvin coming next year.

  14. ariel1234

    Terrible for the Knicks. Can’t play defense, no lateral movement. Wish he would’ve opted out

Leave a Reply