Storyline: Enes Kanter Trade?

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“I put the phone in my ear and my manager said, ‘You just got traded.’ I said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘Where?’’’ Kanter recounted. “He said to the Knicks. He said, ‘Don’t look too happy’ because he knows I love New York, he said, ‘Don’t look too happy.’ And after I went home and packed my stuff, I woke up in the middle of the night and punched myself. I said, ‘Is this a dream? Is this really happening?’”

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“I don’t even know about this trade,” Curry said. “I just heard about this trade 10 seconds ago. So, they got Kanter and … I guess I am happy [for Anthony] because I know he wanted to get out and be in a situation where he felt like what he was doing on the court was actually productive. It’s going to be wild to see that trio of guys together. It’s just crazy how the West is getting stronger and stronger. It should be another tough matchup when we play them.”

Katz: Now, I’ll ask you the question that you already asked for me. What do you think of the trade talk surrounding you? Kanter: I see trade rumors all the time, especially about me. The year I got traded to OKC, I played that year and then after every year, I heard the rumors. ‘Enes Kanter is getting traded. Enes Kanter is getting traded.’ I can’t say enough how much I love the fans [in Oklahoma City], how much I love the organization, all the people there. I see them like family. I really see them like my family. But if it happens, it happens. I can’t do nothing about it, because it’s not in my hands.

Katz: Did you have that same mentality when you were in Utah and you actually got traded? Do you feel like you’ve matured more? Kanter: Yeah, of course. If I ever get traded, I can’t say enough how much I appreciate this organization. They’re amazing. Katz: So, what were you like in Utah, then? How have you changed as a person? Kanter: I changed. Of course, you cannot compare OKC to Utah. There is a huge difference, but I changed, too. If you see something bad, you don’t say it to media. You have to keep it to yourself. You don’t have to say it loud. You just have to be mature about it, because those fans are paying your bills, and they love you.

It’s an interesting time for Kanter to become an international story, considering he’s quite likely on the trading block for the Thunder. We wrote about Kanter’s status for the Wednesday Oklahoman, which you can read here. Does Kanter’s contentious relationship with Turkey hurt his trade value? How could it not? We’ve already established that Kanter’s value has been diminished by the type of play. Low-post players with limited versatility are not in demand the way they once were. A player like Kanter still can help a team – he still helps the Thunder a bunch – but his value is less than in previous forms of NBA play.

So of course the roster will undergo changes — big changes, if Presti has his way. Kanter absolutely is on the trading block, not because the Thunder has grown disenchanted with Enes the Menace, but because he’s got some value (remember, 33.1 points per 100 possessions played) and OKC is overstocked on big men. The Thunder absolutely is in the market for a backup point guard. And literally every team in the league covets versatile wings.
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December 13, 2017 | 9:13 pm EST Update