Knicks eyeing dealing Kanter for Parker
The NBA trade deadline is just around the corner. A number of teams have been swirling around in trade rumors, including the New York Knicks. There is speculation that the Knicks are considering trading Enes Kanter to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Jabari Parker. The question is, does this move really make any sense? There are a number of factors that New York will likely consider
The Physique and the Stat Line
As far as the stat sheet is concerned, Kanter is having a more productive season. Both players are averaging about 14 points a game, but Kanter is seemingly the better rebounder, averaging 11 rebounds per game as compared to Parker’s 6.8. Moreover, Kanter is shooting a much better percentage from the field and the free throw line. He is shooting a very clean 54.3% from the field, as well as 81.7% from the free throw line. Parker, on the other hand, is averaging only 45.2% from the field and 72.4% from the free throw line. From a defensive standpoint, neither player is known for their play on that side of the ball. Each averages less than one steal per game and less than one block a game. If this trade is simply about production, it makes almost no sense for the Knicks to go through with this. However, there are other considerations.
Let’s Talk About Contracts and the Free Agency
The driving force behind this move is probably going to be the contractual aspect. At the end of this season, Kanter will be a free agent. He can go anywhere he wants to, and with his reputation as a walking double double, many teams will be interested in services. Moreover, New York has always been worried that he would bolt for his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, at his first opportunity. Parker on the other hand is still under contract until 2020. If the Knicks land him, they will presumably have him in the rotation for the entire 2019-2020 NBA season, with another team fitting the bill. This will definitely bode well far as New York’s salary cap is concerned.
Moreover, the Knicks have been rumored to eye big names in the impending free agency. On the otherside of the coin, Kristaps Porzinigis will be a restricted free agent this summer. Given his skill set in spite of his injury, he will be pulling offers from a variety of teams. New York will certainly be looking to keep their star, which will require them to match any offer that he gets. Additionally, the team will probably use whatever they have left to sign a running mate for their star. If the Knicks look to keep Porzingis for the long haul and sign him to a sizable contract alongside a free agent, it will be unlikely that the team can keep Kanter on the roster.
The trade deadline is on February 7th. Simply put, the Knicks are going to need money to keep Porzingis and bring in a big name through the free agency. That is exactly what landing Jabari Parker does for the team. At a level, the team needs to be honest with themselves. New York hasn’t won many games this season and as great as Kanter has been, there needs to be a change. The Knicks have a number of reasons to either pull the trigger on the deal or not. However, the Knicks have put an emphasis on the future which could potentially lead to the Knicks dealing Kanter sooner than later. Fans will get their answer in the days to come, but as any NBA fan knows, anything can happen in this League.
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