New York Knicks Enes Kanter
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The former New York Knicks center Enes Kanter is joining the Portland Trail Blazers for their playoff run.

Danny Small

The New York Knicks were happy to rid themselves of Enes Kanter so the team could focus on player development. Similarly, Kanter was thrilled to leave so he could join a playoff team.

Kanter’s wish has been granted. The 26-year-old center is joining the Portland Trail Blazers, the current fourth-seed in the Western Conference.

Much to the chagrin of some Knicks fans, Kanter should see meaningful minutes in Portland. He’s a gifted scorer and tireless rebounder. The Turkish center is a liability defensively, but with the right scheme, his defensive weaknesses can be mitigated.

The Trail Blazers are hoping that his defensive shortcomings pale in comparison to the scoring and rebounding lifts he can provide as a second-unit center. Despite the big man’s fluctuating role in the Knicks’ rotations, there was no doubt that he would latch onto a team in the playoff hunt.

New York Knicks

In 44 games with New York this season, Kanter averaged 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Furthermore, he averaged a whopping 3.9 offensive rebounds per game.

Although some Knicks fans would argue that Kanter is a net-negative, there were multiple teams vying for the center’s services. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers beat out a number of teams trying to acquire Kanter.

Shockingly enough, LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers were interested in bringing in Kanter. That shows how desperate the Lakers are to fix things and make a run at the playoffs.

Kanter’s beef with James last season is what originally endeared him to Knicks fans. That part of Kanter’s tenure with New York feels like a distant memory at this point.

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