Report: Kanter leaning towards opting in with Knicks

NBA.com Global on Jun 29, 2018 07:38 AM
Report: Kanter leaning towards opting in with Knicks
Enes Kanter NBA file photo

NBA.com staff report

New York Knicks center has until tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. ET to exercise his option for next season. According to a recent report from ESPN's Ian Begley, it is looking more like Kanter will stay put for the 2018-19 season.

Here's more from Begley on what Kanter may do next:

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter is leaning heavily toward exercising his $18.6 million player option for 2018-19, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

Kanter will continue to survey the market until his Friday deadline, sources told ESPN, but barring an unforeseen significant change in the market, he will opt in.

...

With Kanter on the roster for the 2018-19 season, the Knicks will have limited money to offer free agents this summer.

New York is currently projected to have an $8.6 million non-tax midlevel exception and a $3.4 million biannual exception to offer 2018 free agents.

Last season, Kanter averaged 14.1 points per game and 11 rebounds per game on 59.2 percent shooting. He served as a vocal leader at times for the Knicks and someone who had his teammates' backs throughout 2017-18.

The Knicks were 29-53 last season, missing the postseason for the fifth straight season, and have posted four winning seasons since 2000.

Kanter was acquired by the Knicks with Doug McDermott in a trade last summer that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kanter has established himself as one of the better scoring big men in the league, holding career averages of 11.7 ppg and 7.3 rpg in 516 career NBA games. He was taken third overall in the 2011 draft by the Utah Jazz and then dealt to OKC in 2015 as part of a three-team deal with the Thunder and Detroit Pistons.

Recently, Kanter had told the New York Post he was looking forward to playing for new coach David Fizdale.

Fizdale had spent eight seasons before going to the Memphis Grizzlies in Miami, where the Heat reached four straight NBA Finals. He is the 11th Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in the 2001-02 season.

Fizdale went 50-51 with the Grizzlies, leading them to the postseason in his only full season before getting fired early last year after clashing with star Marc Gasol. He becomes the 29th coach in franchise history, hoping to lead the Knicks out of what is now a five-year postseason drought.

He replaced Jeff Hornacek, who lasted two seasons in New York before getting fired hours after the 2017-18 season finale.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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