Trail Blazers Notes: Kanter, Aminu, Workout, Durant

Enes Kanter received a hero’s welcome Saturday as he returned to Oklahoma City for his annual youth basketball camp, writes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The former Thunder center remains popular with local fans, many of whom encouraged him to return to OKC in free agency. While Kanter might be too pricey for the Thunder to consider, he can count on receiving a lot of offers after rebuilding his stock in Portland following his release by the Knicks.

The Trail Blazers were aggressive in recruiting Kanter, who also received interest from the Thunder and Lakers. Repeated calls and texts from coach Terry Stotts, GM Neil Olshey and Damian Lillard were enough to tip the scales in Portland’s favor, which became fortunate when starting center Jusuf Nurkic was lost for the season with a broken leg.

“I’m glad that Portland happened,” Kanter said. “I love Portland, I love the people there, I love the fans there. I just want to go – and Portland counts, too – somewhere I can win games. I’m going into my ninth year. I just want to go somewhere where I have a good situation, have some playing time and just win.”

There’s more Trail Blazers news to pass along:

  • Al-Farouq Aminu‘s agent is open to negotiating an extension with Portland before his client hits free agency, but the Blazers may not be able to afford a substantial raise, relays Jason Quick of The Athletic. “He wants to be there,” Raymond Brothers said. “He’s still committed to the Blazers. He likes the city, the team, the coach, he likes Neil. He’s happy. He just wants to win.” Any extension would be limited to $48MM over four years. Aminu made $6.96MM this season.
  • The Trail Blazers brought in six players Friday for their first pre-draft workout, notes Casey Holdahl of The session featured Wake Forest’s Jaylen Hoard, Memphis’ Jeremiah Martin, Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort, Wichita State’s Markis McDuffie, St. John’s Shamorie Ponds and Shaw University’s Amir Hinton. Portland enters the draft with just one pick, its first-rounder at No. 25.
  • Lillard is asking an Oakland-based rapper to help convince Kevin Durant to come to Portland, relays Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Mistah F.A.B. joined Lillard on Instagram Live following Game 1 of the NBA Finals and asked him which free agent the Blazers should pursue. “Just go in there and tell KD, say ‘KD, just go to Portland, bruh. I’m a Portland fan,'” Lillard responded. “You a Portland fan now, so just be like, ‘Bruh they left Oakland anyways, so just go to Portland.'”
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14 thoughts on “Trail Blazers Notes: Kanter, Aminu, Workout, Durant

  1. Here’s the big clue Durant gave that he’s staying with the Warriors next year. At least one year.

    He said he wants to make the most money. Who can give him the most money? The Warriors.

    That’s not his only reason, but it’s the reason he will give that will catch the least amount of flack from the media and fans.

    He wants to win, he wants to enjoy going to work, they move the ball it’s a good group of guys, he just enjoys being part of that team.

    No one can fault him for taking the most money.

    100% signing with the Warriors for next season. There’s no good reason not to.

        • Nope. 35% of salary cap is the most a first year in contract can contain. Durant wouldn’t be eligible for the super max in any event.

      • With Kemba, the Charlotte Hornets could offer him a supermax contract for five years and around $221 million.

        If he wants to leave the Hornets and sign elsewhere as a free agent, the most another team could offer is four years for around $141 million.

        That’s a one-year 80 million dollar difference.

        • david

          Smh….. you need to read up on supermax stuff. Dont talk about what you dont know.

          • x%sure

            What’s the error? The yearly percentage increases are greater as well as the additional year.

          • Why not stop with the smh and learn the cap rules before posting on them? Too hard for you?

            Durant, because he’s already a 35% eligible player, doesn’t get more under the supermax.

  2. x%sure

    Only Lillard knows about that secret clause in the CBA that would allow Durant to join the Blazers. Everyone else will slap their foreheads when the explanation is revealed after the shock of the Durant announcement.

    Unless… Lillard was just joking around and deflecting the question of who their #1 FA target should be. Given the tough choices Portland’s GM will be making, that’s a question to avoid.

  3. knickscavsfan

    KD to Portland would be interesting. With the other two guys and some vets, they can be a great team. Him coming up as a Seattle Sonics player could that effect his decision making in anyway? Not sure if former Seattle fans are now Blazers fans or not. It would be a nice story. A nicer one would him going to DC but that’s highly unlikely. Would he relish an opp to go head to head vs the GSW? If he were to beat them in the playoffs would that not squash the whole narrative of him bandwagon hopping to a 73 win team and that they don’t need him to win? He could be the one to bring a title back to the upper Northwest.

  4. Raps902420

    Portland should of just drafted Durant all those years ago instead of passing on him for Greg oden.i even remember Portland put up a billboard asking drivers to Honk once if they wanted Oden, or Honk twice for Durant.

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