Fantasy Hoops: Winning With Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter made his debut with the Trail Blazers on Thursday and asserted himself as the focal point on the team’s second unit. Kanter saw just 20 minutes of action, but he was able to get up nine shots and score 18 points. His usage rate ranked fifth on the team and he seemed happy in his new environment.

“Last time I got a win I think it was like almost two months (ago),” Kanter said after the game (via Andy Clayton of The New York Daily News). The quote, along with his post-game tweet that read “Wow! That’s how winning feels,” were indirect shots at his former team — the Knicks have only won two games since mid-December.

Thursday’s performance came against the Nets—a team that’s giving up the third most fantasy points (FanDuel) to opposing centers this season—and Kanter is in line for another favorable matchup on Saturday against the Sixers, who will be without Joel Embiid as the big man nurses a sore knee.

Kanter didn’t spend any court time in his debut next to Jusuf Nurkic, as Portland chose to split the 48 center minutes between the two. Nurkic saw 28 minutes, which is on par with his season average. Zach Collins and Meyers Leonard both appear to be out of the rotation with Kanter in the mix, as the pair drew DNPs. Portland seems comfortable with employing the Kanter-Jake Layman tandem in its second unit, as Layman was on the floor for all but two of Kanter’s 20 minutes.

Expect Kanter to once again see around 20 minutes in the team’s matinee in Philadelphia, but with his high usage rate and low price tag, he makes for a great daily fantasy play. In season-long leagues, he’s borderline roster-worthy if you need points, rebounds or a solid field goal percentage.

Fantasy questions? Take to the comment section below or tweet me at @CW_Crouse.

Missed an earlier edition of Fantasy Hoops? Check out the entire series here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 thoughts on “Fantasy Hoops: Winning With Enes Kanter

  1. rxbrgr

    If you’re talking about *winning* in the same sentence as Enes Kanter, than yes this absolutely has to be a *fantasy* post.

    • yoyo137

      His pick n roll defense in Portland is going to be harder to exploit considering their bigs always drop back and ice the pick n roll. Anyways, he’s coming off the bench and they picked him up for the prorated veteran’s minimum. His rebounding and inside scoring ability will help out the second unit immensely. As long as you know how to use a players strengths and hide their weaknesses, you can win with that player. For this value, Kanter is an amazing addition to a team that needed more post scoring and a legitimate backup center.

  2. Meadowlark

    Kanter is likely to improve his pick and roll defense because a team leader like Lillard tends to makes the players around him better. Hard to imagine anyone improving with the New York Train-wrecks.

  3. x%sure

    Kanter is making less than Ed Davis would have. Should GM Olshey be applauded now for giving up Davis instead of Zach Collins (or even Joseph Nurkic)?– IMO he’s just making up for 2018 mistakes at center. Which is all one can do I guess.

    (Blazers had 3-4 centers of value in 2018 and had to move one to cut salary. Olshey took the easy path, letting Davis go, instead of say packaging Collins with one of their 3 overpays.)

    I doubt those opportunities will present in 2019. Signing Kanter now demotes Zach Collins, probably reducing enthusiasm for him on other teams.

    For Portland, Collins duplicates Myers Leonard and is only 3 years younger than Nurkic, 24, who is nicely signed for 3+ years. Given their playoff history and salary structure, 2018 was not the time to decline opportunities for a C prospect. (The overpays clear in 2020.)

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