Enes Kanter Met With Knicks GM To Discuss Role

Following the Knicks‘ eighth consecutive loss on Tuesday, Enes Kanter told reporters, including Marc Berman of The New York Post, that he met with general manager Scott Perry earlier in the week. During that meeting, Kanter expressed frustration with the Knicks’ losing and his own diminishing role, but didn’t ask to be traded, as Berman relays.

“I did not ask for a trade, no. I did not say, ‘Scott, try and trade me.’ No I did not say that,” Kanter said. “Because I like it here a lot. And I probably won’t say to Scott’s face, ‘Scott, I want to get traded.’ Because I like it here a lot. But again, in the end, we all are competitors, basketball players. I like it here so much, but again, I want to win. I want this team to get to the playoffs one day. This is my blood, man, I’m sorry. If anyone asks anything else, I’m not going to do it. I’m going out there to get a win every time.”

The Knicks, whose 9-29 record is tied for second-worst in the NBA, are missing their best player, Kristaps Porzingis, and are clearly in rebuilding mode this season. Given the direction of the franchise, New York has been prioritizing the development of younger players. Luke Kornet has taken over as the club’s starting center, displacing Kanter, who racked up 17 points and 12 rebounds in just 20 minutes off the bench on Tuesday.

While Kanter suggested that he doesn’t take issue with being removed from the starting lineup, he remains frustrated about playing a limited role when he believes he can help the team win games.

“I even asked Scott, if you were in my situation, what would you do?” Kanter said, according to Berman. “He said, ‘The whole league knows you. Right now, we know that you are a very, very good basketball player. Now I want you to go out there and try to have that good character, try to be a good teammate, and try to help all the people.’ I understand we’re not winning a lot right now. But I guess it’s all for the young guys.”

Although Kanter hasn’t formally requested a trade, the Knicks seem likely to thoroughly explore the market for the big man before this season’s February 7 trade deadline. However, his $18MM expiring contract will complicate trade talks, since New York doesn’t want to compromise its 2019 cap flexibility by taking back any multiyear salary. In order to move Kanter, the Knicks may have to find a comparable expiring deal — Jabari Parker‘s $20MM contract would be one example, though it’s unlikely that the Bulls would have any interest in Kanter.

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15 thoughts on “Enes Kanter Met With Knicks GM To Discuss Role

  1. greg1

    Tough spot for Kanter, understand his frustration. That said, Knicks have to do what’s best for next year and beyond.

    Going to be tough to deal him, salary may be too big to get back a corresponding expiring deal.

  2. bdallen714

    What I don’t understand is, Kanter is still relatively young, and if he can put up 17/12 in 20 mins of playing time, why not play him?

  3. dust44

    3 places that make sense to move him. I didnt research the money aspect. But fit aspect. Mavs, 76ers and Suns. Mavs have Powell behind Jordan, Kanter is better then Powell. 76ere only have Embiid and Muscala, behind them is a collection of blah. Suns have Holmes behind Ayton, Kanter is a huge upgrade to the second unit.

    Suns I think can make the salaries matchup pretty close with Ryan Anderson. 76ers have Amir Johnson on an expiring contract (I don’t think it’s as much as Kanter tho) and the Mavs can send out Powell and JJ Barea which I think matches salary pretty close as well.

    • acarneglia

      Kanter is making close to 20 million on an expiring deal, so PHX would be out. Powell and Barea would combine to be like 14 million, so unless Dallas has cap space, won’t work. Johnson is on a vet min making like 2 million, wouldn’t work

    • Matching contracts alone is relatively easy. It’s doing it without the Knicks taking back $$ for next year. They’re looking to shed.

    • formerlyz

      He could make sense for a team with a good defense, that needs half court scoring, but that’s pretty much it

  4. If the goal were to win, and the coach was less fixated on putting his imprint on the team (although it’s still unclear what that is), then I think Kanter would still be starting and playing at least 25-30 min per game, and would be more featured. Neither his contract situation (current salary or his sign-ability) nor his defense explain his current usage. Too bad. The guy is a rare combination of power and skill, he was a natural complement alongside KP, and he embraced, and was embraced by, NYC and the Knick fanbase. But the team needs a full rebuild and the architects want to use other types of materials. I wish him luck at his next stop.

  5. formerlyz

    If Kanter learned how to defend the pick and roll by moving his feet better, he would get more minutes

    • x%sure

      As for Kanter and all his expressed desire. A big man must translate (all that) desire downchannel to the feet. Bend knees and move them. They don’t move on their own like they do on a little man. It’s a bit of a downer, but if a big man tries to get somewhere top-first then wasted energy must be expended simply to avoid toppling over. Tallness 101 not taught in Turkey?

      My Fizdale post was to reply to @DXC. This to @formerlyz

  6. x%sure

    Fizdale dreams of coaching a visibly Fizdale-molded team, with a discernable Fizdale style, but the real world keeps getting in his way. I guess I can relate.

  7. bknowledge

    A Kanter trade to Sacramento works: Kanter plus Courtney Lee for Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos. Not a blockbuster.

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