Throughout the past week the New York Knicks have prioritized playing there young guns instead of seasoned veterans. Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, and Enes Kanter have played less, so the Knicks can figure out who’s in there future. Lee and Thomas have supported their new role, while Kanter has publicly commented on his reduced role.
Coming off a meeting with the Knicks brass asking about his role, Kanter wants more minutes, and wants to be actively showcasing his abilities on the floor. Knicks fans are ready for the end of the Kanter era, and how that happens is unknown at the moment.
Here are a few options for the Knicks to deal with Enes Kanter:
The Knicks could be considering a trade that includes Kanter, effectively ridding themslves of the diva. It’s possible they could earn a second-round value. Maybe JR Smith and a future second-rounder would suffice – but Smith doesn’t exactly scream value at this point in his career. They could waive Smith and receive a second-rounder. A $3 million dumpoff in cap-space to secure the second-rounder wouldn’t exactly crush any attempt to secure the signature of superstar Kevin Durant next offseason.
Other options include Sacramento’s Zach Randolph, or Chicago’s Jabari Parker.
Enes Kanter’s contract ends after this season, so it would not be costly to waive Kanter and make room for a developmental prospect. Releasing Kanter would have no effect on the cap next season, and would give him a chance to sign with a contender and play meaningful minutes.
The Knicks could also keep the big-man on their roster and continue to use him, since the team is very weak at the center position. The Knicks could make Kanter happy and give him his old role back, or they could sacrifice his happiness and continue with the current rotation to develop there younger players.
What happens between Kanter and the Knicks remains to be seen, but there are multiple options for both parties.