Enes Kanter To Decide On Player Option After Draft

While Enes Kanter seems unlikely to top his $18.6MM player-option salary if he hits the open market, he has yet to make a decision one way or the other on that option, after having suggested earlier in the offseason that he’s thinking about turning it down.

Kanter will have until June 29 to opt in or out, and he’s not rushing the decision. As Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic relays, the veteran center will wait until sometime after Thursday’s draft to make up his mind, since he expects to have a clearer idea at that point of where teams stand and what his market might look like.

“The only thing I’m doing right now is waiting for the draft,” Kanter said. “After the draft we’ll see what’s going to happen. Because the draft a lot of things can change, for the Knicks and for the whole league. Because people are going to leave. Waiting for LeBron [James] to decide and everything. I’m waiting for the draft to happen and then we’ll see.”

As Kanter suggests, the results of the draft – along with potential trades made on that night – will impact the offseason outlook for a number of teams. Clubs that add top center prospects like Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Mohamed Bamba may become less viable landing spots for Kanter, while trades will also shake up teams’ depth charts and signal potential directions for 2018/19.

If Kanter exercises his player option, he’d be under contract for one more season with a cap charge of $18,622,514. Declining the option would allow him to sign a longer-term contract with the Knicks or another club, perhaps for a great overall salary but a more modest per-year figure.

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