If the New York Knicks can’t find a trade partner for Enes Kanter by 3 p.m. on Thursday, a buyout looks like the next step.
New York Knicks fans hold their collective breath every time a Woj bomb drops. But in this case, the opposite might be true after Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Knicks and Enes Kanter may be headed towards a buyout.
As the Knicks run out of time to find a trade for center Enes Kanter and his $18.6M expiring deal, discussions on a contract buyout are expected to begin as soon as the deadline passes on Thursday at 3 PM ET, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
Earlier this year, Wojnarowski had also reported that Kanter was involved in trade talks with the Sacramento Kings. In a deal for expiring contracts, the Knicks would’ve received Zach Randolph, yet a deal never materialized.
Kanter has not been shy about his disappointment with his current role on the team. The seven-year veteran did not play in three of the Knicks last five games and has seen most of his minutes go to rookie Mitchell Robinson and newly acquired DeAndre Jordan.
For the season, Kanter is still averaging a double-double with 14 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game. But it has always been the other side of the ball that has plagued Kanter.
Per Basketball-Reference currently, Kanter’s defensive rating is the third lowest on the team (113.4) which is not surprising considering teams look to feast on him in the pick and roll.
Besides his defensive ineptitude, Kanter although generally affable and gregarious has been openly critical of the Knicks and the front office. Kanter initially threw shade at head coach David Fizdale when he mentioned that Fiz had not communicated with him about his role on the team.
Fiz, in his defense, refuted that claim. After the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis, Kanter also told reporters that Porzingis was upset at how the Knicks were treating him and made numerous social media posts regarding the trade.
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) January 31, 2019
Enes the menace has also not been able to hide his displeasure on the court. Kanter, after checking into a game versus the Dallas Mavericks, kissed the Knicks logo at center court. Kanter, after the game, said that he didn’t know if he would get another chance to touch the garden floor.
As the trade deadline looms, both the Knicks and Kanter are looking for a resolution. If Kanter is indeed bought out, the question becomes, will the Knicks look outside of the organization or bring someone up from the G-league?
Either way, Kanter’s exit is a must and both sides need to move on.