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January 19, 2019 | 11:21 am EST Update
Defense remains an issue for Kanter but his skillset — top-level rebounding and inside scoring — is such that he can help a playoff team off the bench. The Knicks are actively trying to deal the 26-year-old international, who is coping with a very public and emotionally taxing battle with the Turkish government. Kanter has an $18 million expiring contract that could be a vehicle to acquiring an asset (draft pick, young player), which is the Knicks’ preference. However, the market has not been robust. There had been preliminary discussions involving the Knicks taking back Jabari Parker, but there needed to be a third team to take Kanter.
It was a show before the show as approximately 70-80 NBA professionals — front-office personnel, scouts, agents, photographers, videographers and writers — camped tightly along the sideline and baseline to watch DeMarcus Cousins warm up. When Cousins emerged from the locker room to take the court and saw the massive crowd awaiting his arrival, he shook his head. “That [expletive] was crazy,” Cousins told Yahoo Sports an hour before making his season debut Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers after being sidelined for nearly a year because of a torn left Achilles tendon. “I’ve been in the NBA for how many years? It’s never been like that for me before.”
Speaking to the media after the game for close to 10 minutes, Cousins came off humble, sincere and appreciative. But in the midst of it all, he was still the feisty personality that makes him such a polarizing figure. He let it be known he isn’t a fan of Clippers center Marcin Gortat. Sources said that disagreement stems from past remarks from the Clippers’ big man, who said Cousins is on his list of guys he’d like to fight if the NBA adopted a 20-second fighting interlude. “Man, y’all lucky this is my first day back, or I’d tell you how I really feel about buddy,” Cousins said about Gortat. “But I’m going to be cool and stay on this side. Wait until I get in midseason form.”