NBA Rumor: Enes Kanter Free Agency

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The deadline on Kanter’s player option was originally this Saturday, but league sources tell The Athletic that option deadlines have been postponed until the NBA finalizes the start of free agency, currently projected for December 1. There is always the possibility he will opt-in with the understanding that the Celtics will use his salary for a draft-night trade, so even if Kanter exercises the option it may not ensure he will be in green in 2021.

Kanter recently spoke again of his love for the club, and this has led Fenerbahce to respond with a press release. “The person named Enes Kanter shared on some of his social media accounts first on June 1, 2020 and secondly today with the same sentences. We would like to inform the public about an issue that he has made twice with the same sentences in a short time, which concerns our club and we need to clarify the purpose of the unknown. Our club did not have any relationship with this person at this stage or in the future, with this person whose name is mentioned side by side with terrorist organizations and whose behavior has been very well known by our community when he left our club. Hereby, we would like to state once again that; The doors of our club are closed forever to those like him and will remain so.

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter posted a message on Twitter saying that if he ever returns to his native Turkey, he’ll want to play for Fenerbahce Beko again. Kanter has been labeled terrorist by the Turkish government due to his support of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. “There is always someone calling me. Thank you, you are not leaving me alone. My dear team and only love Fenerbahce. I wore their jersey with pride and if I return to my country again, it’s the only team that I want to wear its jersey. Thanks and regards to all the board [of the club],” Kanter wrote on Twitter while posting a photo of himself from the days he played for Fenerbahce. He also changed his profile picture to this photo.

“It was awesome. It was a blessing,” Kanter said. “Because I remember my situation with the Knicks … I wanted to go out there and play basketball, and it was my contract year, so I was like ‘I need to go out there and show them I can play.’ I’m glad that Portland happened. 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.”

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent center Enes Kanter, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. Kanter, 26, joins the Trail Blazers from the New York Knicks, where he has averaged 14.0 points (53.6% FG, 31.8% 3-PT, 81.4% FT), 10.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 25.6 minutes in 44 games (23 starts) during the 2018-19 season. He ranks 14th in the NBA in rebounding and has recorded 25 double-doubles on the season. “The addition of Enes fortifies our front court for this critical late season push,” said Olshey. “He’s an impact player with Playoff experience that will be an excellent fit with our style of play.”
3 years ago via VICE

As a 27-year-old free agent hitting a marketplace that’s flush with cash, so much of his next contract hinges on the progress seen in 2019. “You always think about [free agency],” Kanter says. “Even if people said ‘Oh I don’t think about it, I’m focused on the season’ it’s always in the back of your head. It can not let you affect your game, but you always think about ‘Hey, what am I going to do?’ ‘Where am I going to go?’ ‘Am I going to stay,’ ‘Am I going to leave?’”

As much as Kanter said he wants to remain a Knick, he revealed his new power agent, Mark Bartelstein, has done his due diligence, and about five teams have emerged with interest in Kanter if he becomes a free agent beginning Sunday. “With Coach Fizdale, I want to stay more,’’ Kanter told The Post in a phone interview Monday night. “I know his mentality, I know how much freedom he gives to his players. It’s going to help my decision for sure. I think he’s going to change a lot of things. He seems like a relationship with him is like a friendship relationship. It’s not a player-coach relationship. I talked to him for two hours and it gives you so much confidence.’’

Kanter would leave $18.6 million on the table if he opts out, so those teams courting him better have cap space. Several agents believe it is in Kanter’s best interest to opt in because of the lack of cap-space money around the league this summer. “I’m going to make the decision on the last day,’’ Kanter said. “I want to take time and see what everyone else is doing. I want to stay with the Knicks. They have great fans, team, organization, people. I would love to stay here.

Kanter has been coy about his future, hinting one way or another over the last few months. But his real decision-making will come after the draft June 21. After that, he says, teams will have a better idea of where they’ll stand and their interest in and need for him, so he’ll have the information needed to choose what he wants to do. “The only thing I’m doing right now is waiting for the draft,” he told The Athletic. “After the draft we’ll see what’s going to happen. Because the draft a lot of things can change, for the Knicks and for the whole league. Because people are going to leave. Waiting for LeBron to decide and everything. I’m waiting for the draft to happen and then we’ll see.”

Kanter’s preference remains to sign a long-term contract, and he’ll talk to the Knicks first before any other machinations, but he knows this summer could be a frigid one for free agents. Few teams could have enough cap room to give him the money he would pass on if he opted out. “It’s a tough summer,” he said. “It’s a very tough summer. But we’ll see, though. If the smartest thing is to opt in, I’ll opt in. If the smartest thing is to opt out, I’ll opt out. We’ll see. I’ll talk to the Knicks, too, of course.”

Kanter tweeted Thursday a picture of himself with his body twisted and wrote, “my legs telling me opt out my body’s telling me opt in.” Fizdale said he’s preparing as if Kanter will be back. “As of today, he’s ours,” Fizdale said. “That’s how I look at it. He’s a Knick. Until I’m notified otherwise. “He could have been fooling me but he seemed excited and like he’s really looking forward to this fresh start. The guy’s a heck of a player and he fits the toughness part of what we’re talking about.”

“I’m gonna be right there [points about 15 rows back]. You know where [Kanter’s manager] Hilmi [Cinar] sits? I thought I’m gonna get seats right there [points courtside]. They gave me sears up there. It’s messed up. It’s OK.” They can’t put you on the big board. “They can’t?” Tampering. “What does that mean?” Because you’re still on the Knicks. “Am I? Am I?” Are you going to opt out? You are technically on the Knicks. “Until July 1, yes. We’ll talk to teams. We’ll see.” But yes, it’s tampering. I asked.

Ian Begley: Here’s Enes Kanter talking about potentially opting out of his $18.6 million player option to seek a longer-term deal with NYK. FWIW: IF Kanter opts out (which I have my doubts about) & Kyle O’Quinn opts out, NYK could have roughly $18 million in cap space, per @Bobby Marks:

Mike Vorkunov: Talked to Mark Bartelstein, Kanter’s agent about this. He said Kanter has a long ways to go on making a decision on his option and today’s press conference was “much ado about nothing.” “We’re in April. There’s a lot of due diligence and work that needs to be done.”

3 years ago via ESPN

Kanter, who announced last month that he was hiring Mark Bartelstein as his new agent, has an $18 million player option this summer. It seems likely that Kanter will exercise the option, but opposing executives have come away with the impression that he was leaning toward opting out, presumably to pursue a multi-year contract. The executives referenced above drew those conclusions before Kanter hired Bartelstein, who, along with Mevlut ‘Hilmi’ Cinar, Kanter’s manager, will help guide the 25-year-old through his decision.

Kanter is switching to agent Mark Bartelstein and mulling not picking up next season’s $18.6 million player option, but claims he won’t make a business decision to sit the final four games. “You’re always thinking the business part, but for me basketball comes first,” Kanter said. “We’ve got four games left and the Knicks are still paying me. The Knicks are paying for me to go out there and — if I’m healthy — to go out there to play. So if I feel really good, I’ll go out there and play.

Kanter, who currently doesn’t have an agent, said he’s only thinking about this season. “I’m not saying I’m opting in or opting out,” Kanter said. “I’m going to focus on this season, finish this season. I don’t even have an agent yet. I’ll get an agent first and talk to him about [it]. My thing right now it would be selfish for me to just say I’ll do this, I’ll do that. I’m going to finish this season right, have fun with my teammates and start thinking about the contract stuff.”
4 years ago via ESPN

You say you want to be here for a long time. What led you to that? Enes Kanter: I remember during the draft I went to see a lot of organizations. But after you play in New York, you don’t really want to go anywhere else. The people around are so cool. I remember maybe it was my second month here. I was thinking, “This place is so cool, I want to retire here.” I remember one of the media guys was asking me, “Is it too early to decide because you’ve been here for not even a half season? Why did you want to decide that you wanted to retire as a Knick?” I was like, “This is the place I want to be.” You play at Madison Square Garden, you see all the famous people. I’m really cool with Ben Stiller.

It’s been long assumed Enes Kanter will opt into the final year of his contract. The $18.4 million is just too great. But with the 25-year-old enjoying his best season in the NBA, the idea that perhaps this isn’t a given is worth exploring — especially since Kanter says he hasn’t made up his mind. “It’s always on your mind,” Kanter told the Daily News. “But the season is going really well right now. It’s just a contract. I think people worry about it too much and it gets into their head. “People think about it too much and then it affects them, it affects their game, it affects their whole team. When the season is over, that’s the time to think about it.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder has exercised its right of first refusal and matched the offer sheet extended to center Enes Kanter by the Portland Trail Blazers, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We traded for Enes last season with the intention of keeping him as a member of the Thunder for several years to come, and we are excited that he will continue with us,” said Presti. “He adds valuable depth to our roster, diversity to our frontcourt and the dimension that he brings offensively will positively impact our team.”

Thunder determined to match Enes Kanter offer sheet

Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter has signed a four-year, $70 million max offer sheet from the Portland Trail Blazers, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. NBA.com first reported Thursday that Portland was expected to sign Kanter to the offer sheet. A league source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that the Oklahoma City Thunder are determined to match the offer sheet. They now have three days to do so.

Oklahoma City restricted free-agent center Enes Kanter is signing a four-year, $70 million maximum contract offer sheet Thursday with the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Enes’ deal will include a player option on the fourth year, and a 15 percent trade kicker bonus. Kanter traveled to Portland on Thursday to sign the sheet, and it can be immediately transmitted electronically to Oklahoma City. The Thunder have three days to match the offer sheet and retain Kanter – or decide to let him leave for the Blazers. The clock starts once the signed offer sheet is sent to the Thunder.
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