New York Knicks fans may not fondly remember Enes Kanter, after he caused public stirs from inconsistent playing time in his final season with the team. It led to more headache than on-court success, but he was still one of New York’s top acquisitions of the past five years.
In September 2017, the Knicks unloaded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick. The deal was more about watching Anthony leave after a great start, but a controversial finish to his time in the Big Apple.
However, Kanter was the headlining piece and, statistically, played well in previous seasons with the Thunder.
The 2017-18 numbers were productive for the Turkish big man, with 14.1 points and 11 rebounds in 71 starts. He only did it in 25.8 minutes per game, too, which stood out for his per-minute impact.
The offensive impact was there, and Kanter could become a double-double machine whenever he wanted to, but trouble defensively limited what he meant to the Knicks. That became apparent in 2018-19, when head coach David Fizdale benched the veteran center for not only that, but to play Mitchell Robinson.
Kanter was clearly not in New York’s long-term plans. His contract expired at the end of the year, and cap space became the team’s focus.
So, while Kanter finished with 14 points and 10.8 rebounds in his 115 games with the Knicks, this play meant little, and the two sides cut ties midway through this past season.