Knicks Lead

The Curious Case of Enes Kanter


In what has become one of the most interesting stories of the NBA season, Enes Kanter will not travel with the Knicks to London to face the Wizards this Thursday because of he fears he will be assassinated if he does so (Yes, you read that correctly). The Turkish big man has long been critical of the Turkish government, even to the extent of calling the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the “Hitler of our century.”

While with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Turkish government cancelled Kanter’s passport so that he would not be able to travel from Turkey to the U.S. Kanter believes that this is solely due to his political views along with his frequent criticism of the president and government as a whole. As much as Kanter wants to play and help the Knicks win, he realizes that his health and well being must come before playing basketball.

Illness Or Stomachache?

In addition to this story that has reached many news outlets, on a more local level Kanter has missed the past two games due to “illness.” After posting this video on his Instagram the other day, Kanter then missed the next two games, forcing many fans to question his “illness”.

It was later reported that Kanter was actually battling the flu and was indeed very sick. When he is able to play, however, Kanter has seen his minutes fall more and more as the season goes on. While his numbers are up to his par — 14 points and 11 rebounds per game while shooting 54% from the field — his usage has sunk drastically.

Coming out in the last month about his frustrations with his role on Knicks, it has become apparent that the Knicks are actively looking for a suitor to take on Kanter’s contract while receiving value in return. They have spoken to the Kings abut a potential Zach Randolph-Kanter swap, but the Knicks would need to be getting something of future value back besides just an expiring contract. Here are a few potential trade scenarios the Knicks could explore:

Knicks send Kanter to Charlotte for Bismack Biyombo and a future 1st

In the last year of a four-year, $72 million deal, Biyombo has not come close to living up to what his potential once was. While both players are the 26 and still due for another contract, Kanter is head and shoulder just a better player than Biyombo. This being the case the Knicks would need to also get back either a future pick or young player to even out the deal.

Knicks send Kanter to OKC for Patrick Patterson and Dennis Schroder

While it would be tough to imagine the Thunder breaking up their chemistry and making a big deal like this, pairing Kanter with Steven Adams again would give them possibly one of the best big men tandem in the league. The Knicks would have to include one of their young guards — most likely Trey Burke — in order for OKC to replace Schroder. This would give the Knicks a solid guard who has really improved this year as well as an expiring contract in Patterson.

Knick fans will want to keep a close eye on this situation for the coming weeks for a solid move might be right around the corner.


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