The Boston Celtics have traded center Enes Kanter to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a three-team trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies, the team announced today. Boston also traded the draft rights to guard Desmond Bane to the Grizzlies and received two future second round draft picks.
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As part of the transaction, the Celtics will receive the better draft pick between Houston’s second round selection in 2023, and whichever 2023 second round draft pick is worst between Memphis or Dallas. Boston will also receive Memphis’s own 2025 second round draft pick.
Enes Kanter: What a blessing to play for an organization like the @Boston Celtics ☘️ This team, this organization, the whole state made me a more complete player and a better person on & off the court. Don’t forget to retire #11 😄 Thank you Boston 💚
Jared Weiss: Reporting over in @The Athletic app on the Enes Kanter trade to Portland. Kanter was able to choose between going to Memphis and Portland and elected to return back to where he had the best run in his career, per league sources. pic.twitter.com/rh5s0F84Eq
Bobby Marks: Boston right now has $106M in salary heading into free agency. A little below the cap but will stay over with their exceptions ($9.3M midlevel, $3.6M biannual and trade). Well below the luxury tax ($26M+)
Bobby Marks: Portland still with flexibility to use their $9.3M midlevel and $3.6M biannual exception. Roughly $25M below the tax with 6 roster spots open.
Enes Kanter: 🏠 [home emoji]
Enes Kanter: Home Sweet Home ❤️🖤
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.
Sean Deveney: Enes Kanter almost always comes up in trade rumors regarding the Celtics. It would be delicate trading him, he’s been really looked-up-to by the team’s young bigs (both Williamses, Tacko, Poirier). But almost impossible for Celtics to do much at the deadline w/out Kanter leaving.
Enes Kanter: 🤓.
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 don’t know if the organization wants to hear (the chants) every game because it’s a little embarrassing,” Kanter said. “Because after this trade and everything the fans still want me to go out there and play. I don’t know if they want to hear that chant every game. I have no idea what they will do.”
Mike Vorkunov: Enes Kanter wasn’t surprised by MSG’s “We want Kanter” chants. “They want me out there. They love me.” He thinks Knicks org. doesn’t like hearing them. “It’s a little embarrassing. Because after all this trade and everything that the fans still want me to go out there and play.” pic.twitter.com/wuVBEzJsPO
Mike Vorkunov: Fizdale says DeAndre Jordan, 30, will play for Knicks. “I’m giving up my minutes just bc the young guys can get better,” Enes Kanter said. “I’m 26. I think the guys that came are older than me right? So I don’t know what that means. I don’t know, man. I think it’s disrespectful”
Some in the Knicks front office were enamored with Smith Jr. ahead of the 2017 NBA draft, sources said. The Knicks instead selected Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick. Ntilikina’s name has come up in recent trade discussions, including informal talks between New York and Dallas about the possibility of moving Porzingis, sources told ESPN. New York will continue to try to trade disgruntled center Enes Kanter ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, sources told ESPN.
Kanter hopes for a trade by the Feb. 7 deadline and is in constant talks with his highly regarded agent, Mark Bartelstein, who appears to have asked his client to tone down the rhetoric. “My agent is saying just keep your head up, stay strong and stay in shape and keep being a good teammate and I’ll handle the rest,” Kanter said. “I’m going to leave it to him.”
Kanter saluted the Garden fans Sunday for chanting his name during the Heat’s third-quarter blitz as Miami pulled away for a 106-97 win. “It was probably the toughest,” Kanter said Monday night of sitting on the bench Sunday. “[If] it was a road game, I understand. But it’s a home game, and the fans wanted to see me out here. And they were chanting. I felt bad I couldn’t go out there and help my teammates and the organization.”
Kanter said he’s heard support from more than just the fans. “The ref came up to me [Sunday] and said, ‘Hey it’s business, keep your head up and stay strong,’ ’’ Kanter said. “I was like, wow, even the ref said that. [Monday in Charlotte] the bus driver said stay strong. It’s everybody. I’m getting texts from all over the league, from players and coaches, saying stay strong, it will work out in the end.”
“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.”
The veteran Knicks forward Enes Kanter has also been made available by the Knicks in advance of the trade deadline. But dealing Kanter before the deadline would not help the Knicks’ salary-cap situation this summer because Kanter’s $18.6 million salary is an expiring contract.
Marc Stein: The Knicks have made Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee available in advance of the Feb. 7 trade deadline in addition to Enes Kanter, league sources say. Full story forthcoming via @NYTSports
Steve Popper: Well, asked if he had heard from Lance and Courtney about how to handle this, Enes said: “Yeah, look at those guys. I mean, Courtney or Lance, they’re 33, 34, whatever years old. I’m 26 years old. It’s not like I am old. You know what I mean? They treat me like I’m old.”
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.
New York does not want to take back salary in a trade of Kanter, sources say. If the Knicks can’t find a trade that suits them, the club and Kanter could agree on a buyout, which would allow Kanter to sign with the team of his choice.
Kanter said Monday that he hadn’t requested a trade. “I love it here but in the end, I want to play basketball. I miss playing basketball, man,” Kanter said. “And I would let [Knicks general manager] Scott [Perry] and my agent [Mark Bartelstein] handle that stuff.”
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter doesn’t agree with head coach David Fizdale’s decision to remove him from the rotation. “I was very disappointed. There was nothing to be happy about, so I’m not happy and I definitely don’t agree with the decision, of course,” Kanter said after the Knicks’ 127-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.
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.
Whether Kanter will have this job with the Knicks for much longer is an open question with the trade deadline approaching. Several teams have talked to New York about potential deals involving Kanter, per sources. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Sacramento Kings and Knicks talked about a trade involving Kanter and Zach Randolph as a swap of expiring contracts.
“People know I love the Knicks. And I want to be here, and I want to play basketball here and I want to win here,” Kanter says. “But if they trade me, I cannot say, ‘No, I don’t want to get traded.’ But I don’t want to get traded. “I guess with all the rumors, we just have to wait and see what happens.”
In trying to find a new home for Enes Kanter, among the scenarios recently discussed — though only in a preliminary stage — was the Knicks bringing back Chicago’s Jabari Parker, a source told the Daily News. However, a snag in the framework was trying to find a third team to take Kanter, the source said, and it’s unclear if talks ever got off the ground.
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New York and Sacramento discussing an Enes Kanter-Zach Randolph trade of expiring contracts, but nothing close yet, league sources tell ESPN. Kings would want to send out more expirings in a deal. A third team could be helpful.
Steve Popper: Knicks source said last week that Kanter situation would work itself out, but there hasn’t been a robust market. Western Conference teams like Clippers and Kings make sense.
Kanter, a 26-year-old low-post brute, will be a free agent this summer after he opted into the last year of his contract, at $18.6 million, last June. The Knicks have received inquiries about him from other teams already, league sources tell The Athletic, and they are listening, but no deal is imminent. The two sides haven’t considered a buyout yet.
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.”
NBA sources say Kanter can help a playoff contender but a trade will be difficult because of his $18 million expiring contract. The Knicks would need to get back that money in expiring dollars to protect their cap space. Kanter has to decide if he would be willing to accept a buyout and take a little less to play for a playoff contender.
Enes Kanter vs. the Knicks is just beginning. With Kanter finally letting out his bottled-up feelings, there’s probably only one logical solution — the Knicks center’s departure from the roster in either a trade or buyout.
It couldn’t be more obvious that Knicks coach David Fizdale has no use for Kanter any longer. Kanter, who opted into his contract, probably deserves a lot better than this anyway, plugging away for a franchise that long ago gave up on winning games. Trading Kanter to a contender will be tough unless there’s another expiring contract the Knicks can inherit worth in the neighborhood of $18 million.
“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?’”
“I always played for the small cities, and I was wondering what it would be like to play in a bigger city like New York,’’ Kanter said. “I was with all these New York guys playing pickup this summer, and they were just friendly, really nice and warm people. I’m really excited to be here. And also there’s a big Turkish community here, a lot of Turkish restaurants. I’ll take you guys out to eat one day.’’
Enes Kanter: See u in a little bit NY #Knicks ❤️
“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.”
CJ McCollum: Kanter released a statement about his love for OKC and the organization … 4 days later he got traded. Stay woke, it’s a business. Damian Lillard: Nobody safe 🤷🏽♂️
Enes Kanter: One last time Okla-Home 💙🇹🇷
Marc Berman: Like Thunder: Sources say #Knicks will announce Monday they have finally move Melo in gaining young assets
Frank Urbina: For Knicks fans: Per @NBA Math’s play-type profiles, Enes Kanter added the 4th-most value on post-ups in 2016-17.
Maybe he had no idea or maybe he was just having some fun with the whole thing, but as news – including from USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick – surfaced that Enes Kanter is heading to the Knicks he took to Periscope – and encouraged all of the kids at an event for his foundation to say ‘hi’ to the camera. “We’re just here with the kids, just hanging out at OKC,” he said. “Just playing some basketball, just doing some charity work.”
Kanter on periscope in OKC, and doesn’t know he’s been traded yet.. ?? (??: @Enes_Kanter)
David Aldridge: Source confirms @Carmelo Anthony trade to Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and 2018 pick (originally Chicago’s). @Adrian Wojnarowski first.
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 there are potential trade partners for Kanter. However, you add in the political developments, and franchises will give pause. Do they want to take on the potential problem of a player who doesn’t even have a passport? Do they want to add a player who is the arch-enemy of a major international nation? What does that even mean? No one knows. Which hurts his trade value. You absolutely know what you’re getting with Enes Kanter the basketball player. Heck, you know what you’re getting with Enes Kanter the person. A friendly guy – friendliest player in Thunder history, I’d say – and a loyal teammate.
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.
Marc Stein: OKC, meanwhile, continues to probe the league for potential trade partners to take on Enes Kanter to free up money for a run at Al Horford. Don’t forget on Kanter: Has veto power over any trade until July 12 after OKC matched his Portland offer sheet AND a 15-percent trade kicker
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Tony Jones: The Utah Jazz have extended qualifying offers to forward Jarrell Brantley and point guard Trent Forrest, League Sources tell The Athletic. The moves make both players restricted free agents
Emiliano Carchia: Semaj Christon will play for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Summer League, sources tell @Emiliano Carchia. Christon spent the season in Turkey with Tofas averaging 12.5ppg in BSL
And there’s actually a runaway No. 1 as far as the club with the most male basketball players participating: Real Madrid, the team that produced a certain Luka Doncic, who just tied the record for second-most points ever scored in an Olympic basketball contest. The storied Spanish club leads the way with eight players taking part in the Olympic Games this summer, followed by Fenerbahce out of the Turkish League, Australia’s Melbourne United, the Miami Heat (the NBA team with most male basketball representatives in Tokyo), Olimpia Milano (Italy) and Union Olimpija (Slovenia), all of whom have four players at the Games.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver says he’s smoothed things over with LeBron James about his hatred for the play-in tournament … telling TMZ Sports he believes the Lakers superstar now “understands” the purpose for the extra games.