Trail Blazers Sign Enes Kanter

10:15pm: The Blazers have officially signed Kanter, the club confirmed in a press release.

3:50pm: After being released by the Knicks last week, Enes Kanter has lined up a new NBA home, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Kanter and the Trail Blazers have reached an agreement on a deal.

Kanter confirmed the news himself, tweeting that he’s signing with Portland for the rest of the season. Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter) that the Trail Blazers beat out multiple suitors, including the Lakers, for the big man’s services.

Things have gone full circle now between Kanter and the Blazers, who originally signed him to a four-year, $70MM offer sheet during 2015’s free agent period. The Thunder matched that offer and retained Kanter, then later traded him to the Knicks. The veteran center was in the final year of that four-year contract this season before New York waived him, allowing him to return to the free agent market.

The Blazers roster that Kanter is joining now looks much different than it did in 2015, and the role he’ll play probably won’t be the same as the one the team envisioned four years ago. However, he’s expected to see a “good share of minutes” in Portland, according to Wojnarowski. The 26-year-old figures to slot in as Jusuf Nurkic‘s backup at the five, perhaps cutting into Meyers Leonard‘s and/or Zach Collins‘ playing time.

While he was ultimately removed the Knicks’ rotation in recent weeks as the team prioritized developing its youth, Kanter was as productive as ever in his 44 games this season, posting a double-double (14.0 PPG and 10.5 RPG) in just 25.6 minutes per contest.

The Blazers won’t have to make a corresponding roster move to officially sign Kanter, since they had an open roster spot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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33 thoughts on “Trail Blazers Sign Enes Kanter

  1. TheBlueMeanie

    Now Portland gets their turn to hear him complain about playing time.

    • jeremy

      How so he going to a team I doubt has the depth to not have him play. Lack of bigs always been blazers down fall.

      • mcmillankmm

        Spot on Jeremy…only thing I would add is “lack of quality bigs” Hahahaha

  2. xabial

    How is it surprising. Didnt they offer Kanter that contract which Utah matched? Portland been after him for a long time.

  3. x%sure

    That would be a better move a couple weeks ago, to bring in calls for Zach Collins.

  4. Thronson5

    Kind of shocked at the negative things people have to say about this guy. I think he’s actually pretty damn good.

        • kenleyfornia2

          Yes its very sad for him. His social media is full of hate/death threats

        • dionls

          If he is SUCH a genocidal dictator of a MAJor country, I think the MSM would’ve told me by now. …………

          • steve

            Well you thought wrong, the media has and will always report on certain stories that they prefer at the expense of others. Yes even when it comes to genocide, look no further than East Timor or Indonesia and the presses respective reporting or lack there of. however I doubt the turkey situation is the cause for all his criticisms or attitude. More so,it’s most like lyhis old school bigman game. and the off the courts issues / attitude problems

      • emac22

        Some is but there are plenty of other people that think he was just a real jerk this year and that his defense and stat hunting make his net contribution negative.

        As a back-up in Portland that might not matter but he opted into a huge final year payday knowing what the team was doing and then whined and insulted his teammates, management and ownership whenever they tried to even look at the young centers.

        I went from being a big fan to being disgusted in 2-3 months. In large part because he’s getting screwed by Turkey. I’m surprised anyone signed him and actually interested to see how it works out.

    • kahnkobra

      I’m not, he chose $18 mil over playing time when he opted in. then complained when the Knicks we’re giving the young bucks audition/developmental time.

    • TheBlueMeanie

      For me personally, it comes from the fact he has complained about his role and his playing time everywhere he has played, whether it be Utah, OKC or NY. He has only averaged over 15 ppg once in his career and to my knowledge, has never made an All-Star team.

      • 123Redsox

        He was never given a,legit opportunity. How can you be an all star or be expected to average more than 15 per game when you are playing 25 minutes per game?

        • emac22

          Why do you think teams wont let him on the floor if he’s so good? Is it a conspiracy? :)

      • 123Redsox

        Tremendous scorer and rebounder. Maybe he isn’t anything special defensively, but rebounding is huge. And he can score too.

  5. Pretty good fit. I think he can carve out minutes behind Nurkic despite what appears to be a 3-deep C depth chart. Kanter is a very different player than ML and ZC. This gives them some options with the backup C minutes. Right now they don’t have an interior scorer when Nurkic isn’t out there.

  6. Funny how Knicks/media/even fans talk about how the Knicks chose to play the young guys, so he had to understand the situation, so… is DJ also in the youth movement? Why is he playing & Kanter didn’t? Fitz go figure clueless HC.

    • goat3001

      DJ plays defense, thus making him a much better on court leader than Kanter and better role model for Mitchell and Kornett. Kanter losing minutes had as much to do with his lazy defense as it did with the Knicks playing the young guys. I respect Kanter and hope he’s found a home in PDX, but the dude needs to commit to defense.

  7. Meadowlark

    As a backup C Kanter probably is a good fit in Portland as the Blazers could use inside scoring when Nurkic is off the floor. There are few teams in the league with as strong a leader as Damian Lillard. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kanter responded positively to this new situation.

    • Luke Adams

      Signings at this time of the season are generally worth the minimum unless specified otherwise.

      Based on when he signed, Kanter’s prorated salary would be approximately $654K and the cap hit would be about $487K.

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