Enes Kanter started every game he played in for the New York Knicks last season. The Turkish big man provided a consistent rebounding and inside scoring option for the tanking Knicks, which continued into the early portion of this season. However, Kanter has recently fallen deeper into the rotation in favor of younger options in Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson.
Kanter has expressed his displeasure with his playing situation in the past, but he reiterated it following the Knicks’ loss to Oklahoma City on Monday, according to Mike Vorkunov of the Athletic:
Knicks center Enes Kanter had a conversation w/ David Fizdale yesterday where he says he was told he’s gonna be moved down the depth chart behind Kornet & Robinson. He didn’t expect to play today. “I’m not happy,” he says of decision.
“I love it here but I wanna play basketball.” pic.twitter.com/YD7DoLEAV8
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) January 21, 2019
Kanter’s numbers have remained nearly identical from 2017-18, but as a team that is looking towards the future rather than the present, the Knicks have prioritized their young talent over a veteran that most certainly will not be with the team next season. The eighth-year center is currently averaging 14.4 points and 11 rebounds over 41 games this season.
Kanter’s contract ends following this season, meaning he can be used as a valuable trading chip due to his expiring contract. If they so choose, the Knicks could try and move Kanter, who can still play a key role for a contender, and try to gauge as much value as they can from the soon-departing center.