New York Knicks: How players who departed in 2018-19 fared elsewhere

Pacers Wesley Matthews (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Pacers Wesley Matthews (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Blazers Enes Kanter (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Blazers Enes Kanter (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Enes Kanter

Slash Line (with Blazers): .577/.250/.735
Season Averages (with Blazers): 13.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 0.1 3PM

New York Knicks fans will never forget the drama Enes Kanter created over not starting, which eventually led to no playing time by the end of January. It was an add-on to the misery of a 17-65 record, so the two sides eventually cut ties after the trade deadline.

Kanter joined the Portland Trail Blazers days after the Knicks waived him. It was always meant as to fill a reserve role, as Jusuf Nurkic handled the starting center role. There were no complains from the Turkish big man, though, who joined a contending team, rather than one who could not stop losing.

Then came Nurkic’s gruesome leg injury, which opened the door for Kanter to start for Portland. He rose to 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and entered the postseason as a main player next to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Who could have guessed that in October?

Before Sunday’s Game 3 against the Denver Nuggets, Kanter averaged 15.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 33.5 minutes per game in the playoffs. One appearance even came in the four overtime drama Friday, when the Blazers barely edged Denver in an instant classic.

Next. 2019 NBA Mock Draft. dark

Kanter’s first taste of the playoffs since his Oklahoma City days have proved successful, could have more results to follow and should enhance his offseason stock. There may be a starter opportunity elsewhere, otherwise his fit in Portland is perfect as is.