The Turkish big man will remain with the Knicks for the upcoming season. What does his decision mean for the rest of the young roster?
After dragging out his decision for as long as possible, Enes Kanter has finally decided to opt in and return to the Knicks for the 2018–19 season.
I am so happy this is over. Knowing this season is going to be a rebuilding year, I was content with whatever decision Kanter made. However, his contradicting messages on social media and his insistence on dragging out his decision began to get on my nerves. In an offseason in which LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George are most likely on the move, nobody cares about whether Enes Kanter opts in or out of his current deal. His back and forth tweets, including (a now-deleted) one with an emoji of a Buck, and an announcement to reveal his decision on social media right before the deadline was over the top. For example of how annoying this has been, at the moment of writing this, Kanter still denies that he has made a decision yet. STOP TROLLING US. Assuming the reports are true and he has opted in, I think this decision could only help the Knicks next year.
First off, can you really blame the guy? He just secured $18.6 million for the year. There is no way he would sniff anywhere near this much money with any other team. Kanter was one of the most productive players for the Knicks last season, averaging a team high 14.1 points and 11 rebounds in 71 games. He also shot 59 percent from the field and 84 percent from the charity stripe. As efficient as Kanter was for the Knicks, he was a liability on defense. At the same time, who hasn’t been a liability on the defense for the Knicks over the past few years?
With Kanter opting in, he will provide immediate offensive production while also helping to develop the young players on the team, especially Mitchell Robinson. Kanter is well respected in the locker room and will provide a leadership role for a young team next year. He is also a fan favorite, as he has constantly expressed his love for the city of New York and is known for being very active on his social channels. Look, unless Kanter can vastly improve his defense over the course of the season, I do not see him being a viable long term option for the Knicks past this season. So let’s enjoy this year of Enes Kanter and hope that he can provide efficiency and entertainment for us. He should plan on getting into another shouting match with LeBron James at least once this year.
Welcome back Enes Kanter. Although you will probably only watch you in the orange and blue for one more year, I am looking forward to watching you further develop yourself and our young talent on the court this year.