Decisions, Decisions: Kanter Decides to Opt In
On Friday, with free agency decisions looming, Enes Kanter used his creative talents to let the New York Knicks know that he will be exercising his player option. Kanter will collect over $18 million for his services, in exchange for one more year playing in the Garden. The Turkish big man’s decision was not entirely set in stone, with speculation that Kanter could potentially look to re-sign with his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. With Kanter’s choice made, however, the Knicks may be done making moves for the summer.
No Money, No Problem
It’s no secret that the Knicks were already over the limit in terms of the luxury tax and cap space. Back-up forward/center, Kyle O’Quinn, decided earlier in the summer that he would be opting out of his contract. Besides a trade, the only other way the team could land a star would have been if Kanter opted out. However, prior to Kanter’s decision, the Knicks’ General Manager, Scott Perry, emphasized that the team would not be looking to make a deep playoff run. Instead, the Knicks will continue to grow their vision of a young, developed core and focus on making a run at the free agency next summer. Thus, Kanter’s decision lined up perfectly with the team’s game plan. Now, the Knicks can continue to look to the future with a solid center at the helm.
Kanter, the Walking Double-Double
While not considered a top tier talent among the NBA’s upper echelon, Kanter is a consistent player. He spent his first season with the Knicks delivering an onslaught of double-doubles. He helped the Knicks out rebound most teams on a nightly basis. With Kristaps Porzingis out and O’Quinn potentially gone, the Knicks will look to Kanter to lead the team in rebounding. Kanter will have to work on his defense, though, to truly make an impact. However, he has shown promise and could potentially turn that weakness into a strength.
Enes Kanter is a solid team player that will continue to work hard for New York. Going into next season, he and the rest of the team are going to feel pressured to win. That stress will come when it comes. Until then, the Knicks can revel in the small victory of Enes Kanter’s decision.