Knicks, Kings Discussing Enes Kanter, Zach Randolph

The Knicks and Kings are discussing a potential trade that would see the teams swap the expiring contracts of Enes Kanter and Zach Randolph, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

However, according to Wojnarowski, nothing is close yet, as Sacramento would prefer to send out more expiring money in any such trade. Getting a third team involved could help pave the way to a deal, Woj adds.

Kanter, 26, has had an inconsistent role for the Knicks this season as the team focuses on developing young bigs like Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson. Kanter has spoken repeatedly about how much he likes playing in New York and hasn’t requested a trade, but he may welcome the opportunity to get more regular playing time for a team in the playoff hunt as he approaches unrestricted free agency.

[RELATED: Enes Kanter met with Knicks’ GM to discuss role]

The Kings fit that bill, remaining in the race for a postseason berth despite a recent slump. The 20-21 squad is currently tied with Utah and Minnesota, two games back of the Lakers for the No. 8 seed. Sacramento also has approximately $11MM in cap room, which means the club could comfortably take on Kanter’s $18.6MM salary in exchange for Randolph’s $11.7MM contract without having to worry about salary matching.

That may not be the best use of the Kings’ cap space though — that space figures to be a valuable asset at next month’s trade deadline, since every other NBA team is over the cap. It’s also not clear why the Knicks would be incentivized to make a Kanter/Randolph swap, besides some modest financial savings in 2018/19, but perhaps the club is simply ready to move on from its veteran center.

In 41 games (26.5 MPG) this season, Kanter has been his usual productive self, posting 14.4 PPG and 11.0 RPG. While he can score and is an excellent rebounder, the former third overall pick isn’t a strong defender or rim protector, which will limit his value on the trade market.

As for Randolph, the 37-year-old hasn’t appeared in a single game for the Kings so far in the final season of his two-year contract with the club. At this point, he’s a trade candidate simply for his expiring deal, and would certainly emerge as a buyout candidate if he’s not moved by February 7.

The Kings also have veterans like Kosta Koufos ($8.7MM) and Ben McLemore ($5.5MM) on expiring contracts and could look to make the most of those deals in trades in the coming weeks. Iman Shumpert ($11MM) is in the final year of his contract too, but has emerged as a reliable on-court contributor and off-court leader for Sacramento, reducing the odds that he’d be used as a trade chip.

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21 thoughts on “Knicks, Kings Discussing Enes Kanter, Zach Randolph

    • bklynny67

      especially since the article says he would be a buyout candidate. Do you have any of your own thoughts?

      • the dude

        I thought the same thing, which means you don’t have original thoughts either. Settle down.

      • Luke Adams

        This story was updated 3-4 times already I published the first paragraph or two, so that note may not have been there when he commented.

        • Z-A

          Anyone that uses this site should know that these articles are fluid and update over time. People are way too quick to say gotcha…

  1. If it’s just those two, the Knicks can really do it just to accommodate Kanter and the TPE. If the Kings want to expand it, maybe to increase their existing cap space for another deadline deal, then the Knicks can do that, but should get something more significant.

    • emac22


      Kantor isn’t the one making the trade.

      Playing for a playoff team should be an improvement if he was though.

  2. how does this trade benefit the Knicks, unless they receive a draft pick maybe a 2nd rounder.

  3. emac22

    Why is a third team needed? Just send another expiring back to the knicks to match salary.

    They would need to send a pick if they match salaries so I think the better move is Kantor and THJR for Koufos, Randolph, Shumpert and McLemore.

    Salaries match and I don’t even think you need any draft picks from either side. The kings get to keep their cap space & get a couple of very nice upgrades while the Knicks clear some space for next year.

    • Luke Adams

      Another possible complication is the fact that the Knicks have a full 15-man roster, so they’d need to waive/trade someone else if they take back any extra players.

      • emac22

        I don’t think McLemore and Randolph have played this year so there might not be any reason to keep them.

        Either way too many players isn’t a problem. You just cut the worst guys to get down to the limit.

        • Luke Adams

          Yeah, I doubt they’d keep Randolph (or McLemore or Koufos), but even if they intend to waive them, they do need to have roster spots available to acquire them, so someone currently on the roster would have to go in the event of a 2-for-1.

          • emac22

            Ahh. Good point!

            Sending them cash to cover one or two of the guys might be a solution but doing another deal first is probably a good idea.

    • x%sure

      Hield is better than Hardaway, so not a “nice upgrade”. It may be that Kantor would be more valuable than WCS but I base that on the subtext of the Giles article and a marginal stat differential, so a low %sure.

      Also trading Shumpert would anger Fox, their star, so they would need to have a good reason to do so. And the Knicks already had him once.
      Shump even got some Luke Adams recognition!

      • x%sure

        It’s possible, if SAC knows WCStein as an upcoming FA will be leaving for someplace like NY, that he might be involved in a Kanter trade.

  4. padam

    Don’t see the need for the Knicks to do it other than saving a few bucks over the course of the rest of the season. Evening the salaries which just make it a moot point for the Knicks, unless they’re getting a pick in return, like a second rounder perhaps.

    • x%sure

      $7mil with no strings! Knicks are not saying no. And ZBo has not been a problem in Sacto with reduced minutes, whereas Kanter…

  5. PeeWeeHerron618

    6ers need to jump on a Kanter deal if possible give up Amir & whatever else possible we need a backup C like him when Embiid is out plus Embiid can get plenty of rest

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