Enes Kanter New York Knicks
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

After weeks of speculation, Enes Kanter has reportedly decided to exercise his player option and return to the New York Knicks.

After dropping hints and causing constant speculation on Twitter, a report from The Vertical‘s Shams Charania states that Enes Kanter plans to exercise his player option today and return to the New York Knicks.

A reunion between Kanter and the Knicks is what’s best for both sides. The 26-year-old gets paid $18.6 million for the 2018-19 season, and the Knicks get that salary off the books for the 2019 summer.

According to team president Steve Mills, that’s the free agency summer that New York is focusing on. Another benefit for Kanter: In 2019, more teams will have cap room to compete for him on the open market.

Kanter developed an excellent rapport with Kristaps Porzingis and became one of the leaders of this young team. He’ll be welcomed back by his teammates and new head coach David Fizdale. Kanter has already discussed a desire to work with Fizdale.

In 71 games with the team, Kanter averaged 14.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, and 0.5 steals on a slash line of .592/.000/.848. He had career-highs in field goal percentage and rebounding.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for EliteSportsNY.com. I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: chip.murphy@elitesportsny.com Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.