NBA Rumor: Enes Kanter Trade?

81 rumors in this storyline

More Rumors in this Storyline

As noted in a recent episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Boston is looking to upgrade at center either via the draft by trying to move up to select James Wiseman or Onyeka Okongwu. Some executives around the league could see a swap of Hayward for Pacers center Myles Turner making sense as well. Another trade candidate to keep an eye on is Enes Kanter if he opts into his $5 million player option, according to HoopsHype colleague Yossi Gozlan, who is our salary cap expert.

The Knicks already have made an oversized trade-deadline splash, shipping four players to Dallas ahead of Thursday’s deadline. At least two more players are expected to be on the move very soon. If the Knicks can’t trade the large contracts of center Enes Kanter and swingman Wes Matthews for an expiring contract and a draft pick before the 3 p.m. deadline, the players are expected to be waived or bought out, according to a source. They each make a difficult-to-move $18.6 million, but a league source said the Knicks still are still exploring trade options.

Mark Bartelstein, Kanter’s agent, told The Post, “[Knicks GM] Scott [Perry] and I are working together, collaborating and seeing if something makes sense. If nothing happens [Thursday], we’ll put our heads together.’’ By week’s end, the Knicks could have three open roster spots to fill with 10-day contract prospects. Former Westchester Knicks sharpshooter John Jenkins, who recently signed a 10-day contract with Washington, still is on their radar if he becomes a free agent.

Even after all that happened with the Knicks – with trading Kristaps Porzingis and showcasing a new cast of players – the dominant chant Sunday from the Garden crowd was, “We want Kanter.” And for a moment, they thought they got their wish. Except coach David Fizdale called out “Dennis” for new Knick point guard Dennis Smith, not Enes. And Fizdale took a shot at Kanter for the aftermath – which included assistant coach Keith Smart physically blocking the center from checking into the game. “He wanted to run all the way to the scorer’s table, make it a bigger spectacle,” Fizdale said.

“I said it from day one, I love New York,” he said. “I love the fans in here and everything. It would be very tough for me to leave because I still want to play for New York. People don’t understand the love of New York I have in my heart. If they would know, they would retire my jersey right now. “I love New York. I love the fans. I love the atmosphere here. But it’s very tough for me to see my teammates out there not getting wins and I know I can help, but they’re just not letting me help. It’s pretty tough.”

Fizdale, according to Kanter, told him at the morning meeting he would start against the Rockets. However, the coach changed his mind later in the day. Kanter was told by assistant coach Keith Smart before the loss that he’d be coming off the bench. Kanter was waiting by his locker, fully dressed, when reporters arrived following the 114-110 game. “They told me this morning that I’m starting,’’ Kanter said. “Now I come to the game and I didn’t even play. I’m trying to be a good teammate, but I want to play basketball. If you’re going to play me here, play me. If not, just get me out of here.”

“It’s so frustrating,’’ Kanter said. “In the meeting he said I was starting. Now it’s coming here and coming to the game ready to go and I sit on the bench. “What they’re doing is pretty messed up. I deserve way better. They didn’t explain me anything. I’m just going to let my agent handle it. I love the Knicks, don’t get me wrong. I love the crowd and MSG and have love for this city, but I want to play basketball. Either play me or just let me play someplace.”

He seems like the most likely player to be playing elsewhere after the deadline. Kanter all but asked out of New York on Monday after learning that he was basically below Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson on the depth chart at center. Teams have inquired on Kanter this month, but he also carries an $18.6 million salary and a game that might not fit on a good team. He’s a low-post brute who does two things well: score around the basket and rebound. But he can help a playoff team who could squeeze his skill-set onto their roster and surround him with help. He was a key piece for the Thunder as they made deep playoff runs. With Kanter posturing for more playing time, this situation has gone too public for them not to achieve some kind of resolution. It seems best for the two sides to split.

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.

The Kings could still be an option for that third team and, according to sources, have been separately negotiating a straight swap for Kanter. One scenario is Kanter for Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos. As the Daily News reported, the Knicks would need a “sweetener” to make such a trade work with the Kings, such as a second-round pick. Whether Parker fits that “sweetener” description is unclear, but ESPN reported in December the Knicks expressed interest in dealing for the 23-year-old.

Kanter came off the bench for the third straight game Tuesday for starter Luke Kornet and told two reporters after Monday’s practice to ask him about his future with the Knicks after the Nuggets game. Kanter met with Perry after that practice. “I even asked Scott, if you were in my situation, what would you do?’’ Kanter said. “He said, ‘the whole league knows you. Right now, we know that you are a very, very good basketball player. Now I want you to go out there and try to have that good character, try to be a good teammate, and try to help all the people.’ I understand we’re not winning a lot right now. But I guess it’s all for the young guys.”

So is Kanter content for now with his situation? “I did not ask for a trade, no. I did not say, ‘Scott, try and trade me.’ No I did not say that,’’ Kanter said. “ Because I like it here a lot. And I probably won’t say to Scott’s face, ‘Scott I want to get traded.’ Because I like it here a lot. But again, in the end, we all are competitors, basketball players. I like it here so much, but again I want to win. I want this team to get to the playoffs one day. This is my blood, man, I’m sorry. If anyone asks anything else, I’m not going to do it. I’m going out there to get a win every time.”

“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.
More HoopsHype Rumors
August 13, 2022 | 2:04 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant, James Harden back on good terms

ClutchPoints: “From what I’m told, the two former teammates are back on good terms now despite [James] Harden forcing his way out of Brooklyn.” @ramonashelburne on the Sixers’ reported interest in trading for Kevin Durant.

Grant Williams addresses Jaylen Brown trade rumors

After speaking with children during the Jr. Celtics camp, Grant Williams was asked how he felt about the trade rumors involving Brown. Williams responded by talking about the business side of the NBA while also praising Brown’s mindset and value as a player. “I feel like JB is mature in his mindset, and he knows that. I talk to him, texted him, reach out of as often as I can. It’s one of those things. It’s the league. It’s a business. It’s one of those things that you can’t be discouraged by because we love JB. It also shows how valuable he is.”
Obviously, Durant is one of the greatest players of all time. Williams explained that Brown having his name mentioned as the potential centerpiece in a deal for Durant just shows how great the Celtics star is. “It kind of shows how valuable he is. The fact that, top-10 player in the world, you’re the focal point. It’s one of those things, I remember, back in the day with Al Jefferson and KG [Kevin Garnett]. It’s one of those things where you’re like, ‘oh dang, Al Jefferson.’ It’s not even like a difference,” said Williams.
“I think he’s going to approach it even better. He’s going to take it with a competitive mindset, too. So, if it doesn’t work out, which, I don’t know what it is or not, I’m not involved in none of those processes,” stated Williams. “But I think that he’s going to come back with a chip on his shoulder, and I love that. Because I know how JB responds, and he’s going to be very, very, very, very secure because he’s secure of himself and he’s secure of what he’s going to be.”
Green then admitted that it’s usually him who takes the high road. Curry and Thompson don’t always clap back, so when they do, Dray knows that he has to take a step back in order to avoid an escalation: “That’s just not how we roll,” Green said. “So I usually do the majority of the talking most the time. It either leads to us having a conversation and discussing what I think and what they think and how we can figure it out. If it’s in a heated battle, a heat-of-the-moment situation and I’m like ‘Klay stop shooting the ball’ and he cuss and yell back, then we just keep it pushing and I run on and he run on. Or if I say something to Steph and he gets mad and snaps back every two blue moons then he says something back and I just run off and go about my day.”

Dwyane Wade on Heat Big 3: 'The hate was because of our skin color'

It was at this point where Wade decided to drop a shocking truth bomb about how the hatred for the Heat was racially motivated: “We knew that some of the hate was because of our skin color,” he claimed. “Because of being Black men and deciding to control the fate of our careers. … So, when we had the power, when we had the moment, we took it. But some of the hate came because we were three Black guys who decided and changed the way that the NBA probably would ever be because of that decision.”
Dwyane Wade recently made a guest appearance on JJ Redick’s The Old Man & The Three podcast, and it was an opportunity for the Heat icon to get brutally honest with his thoughts on why their Big 3 garnered so much hate. Wade was quick to point out that the way they teamed up to win a title wasn’t much different from how other iconic teams did it in the past (h/t ClutchPoints on Twitter): “If you think about it, no one gives backlash to any championships that Larry Bird won, that Magic Johnson won, that Michael Jordan won,” Wade said. “… You don’t win championships without playing with other guys that are great, first of all.”