Enes Kanter has been the topic of conversation within the past couple of days since announcing that he wouldn’t be attending the UK trip with the New York Knicks. The Knicks Center has also been frustrated with the team due to his role and also where the team is headed, which eventually led to talks about other teams in the NBA showing interest in trading for the big man. The frustration started about less than a month ago when the Knicks Head Coach David Fizdale made a change to the rotation as he put Enes Kanter on the bench and started second year player Luke Kornet.
“It’s very embarrassing. I understand we want our young guys to get better. But it’s very painful to watch it,” -Enes Kanter
Since these trade talks have been happening, it was never confirmed on which teams were interested in trading for Kanter. I’ve listed three teams below and scenarios that I personally believe would fit well for Enes Kanter. I will only include Enes Kanter from the Knicks and no draft picks to be traded in these scenarios because Kanter is the only player as of now on the Knicks that they would trade. Not going to big in depth on the draft picks.
First Trade (NYK & LAC): LAC receive C Enes Kanter. NYK receive C Marcin Gortat, G Patrick Beverly.
The Clippers would receive Enes Kanter who is an outstanding rebounder, which is a major piece that the Clippers need on their team. Right now for the Clippers, their current leader in rebounds is Tobias Harris, averaging 8.0 rpg. Kanter has averaged 10+ rebounds within the last two seasons and would be an improvement to the team. Also, Kanter is a promising scorer at the center position, averaging 14.9 ppg within the last two seasons with the Knicks which is much needed for the Clippers young lineup. The Clippers are currently a playoff team that can confidently be a playoff team within the next couple of seasons. So with Kanter in their lineup, they can improve their backcourt by pairing Kanter with current Clipper Montrezl Harrell.
As for the Knicks, they would receive Marcin Gortat and Patrick Beverly who are veterans in the NBA. Adding a new Center to the Knicks in Marcin Gortat would be a major change in their rotation and most likely have Coach Fizdale give more minutes to the young centers in Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson. Giving Robinson more minutes might not sound like a good idea to most Knicks fans as of now, due to his injuries and development, but he would be better defensive presence in the paint then Kanter was. The Knicks will also be adding another guard to the team in Pat Beverly who can help the young guards on the team. Beverly has a strong work ethic that can help the young guys with their game.
Second Trade (NYK & CHA): CHA receive C Enes Kanter. NYK receive F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and F/C Frank Kaminsky.
At this point into the NBA season, the Charlotte Hornets are hoping to maintain a spot in the NBA playoffs as they are currently looking to stay as one of the top 8 seeds in the eastern conference. With Kemba Walker having the best season of his career, averaging a career high in points, he could really use some help with a new center added to their team. Within the recent years, the Hornets have not had a solid player at the center position. They’ve relied on players such as Bismack Biyambo, Dwight Howard, and Cody Zeller within the years. Cody Zeller was their the 4thpick in the 2013 and has averaged a total of 8.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, & 0.7 bpg during his six seasons as a Charlotte Hornet. Zeller is also currently out for 4-6 weeks of the regular season due to having surgery on his right hand. Kanter would be a great fit for the Hornets at the center position until Zeller is ready to get back onto the court.
The Knicks would receive Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Frank Kaminsky. Kidd-Gilchrist wasn’t the promising player that the Hornets were expecting after drafting him at the number two spot in the 2012 NBA Draft. Since his arrival in the NBA, MKG is averaging 9.0 ppg and 5.8 rpg in his career. Sending Kidd-Gilchrist to New York can give him more of an opportunity to place since only playing 19 minutes per game right now with Charlotte. Kaminsky is a stretch forward who can also play the center position. With his ability to shoot the three point line, Kaminsky can help out the Knicks current offense with the loss of Kanter and Porzingis. Kaminsky is also a RFA this coming offseason as well. Whether he works out or not, the Knicks can find a way to match offers with other teams who are interested in him.
Third Trade (NYK & SAC): SAC receive C Enes Kanter. NYK would receive Zach Randolph.
This was trade that both teams had discussed on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. It was first tweeted out by NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.
This trade would be beneficial for both teams in this trade. For Sacramento, they can add a big man who they can promise to consistently put up 10+ points and rebounds in every game he plays. Their current starting center Willie Cauley-Stein has been improving since his rookie year but isn’t that consistent with double-doubles like Kanter is. To make room on the starting lineup, the Kings can slide Cauley-Stein down to the power forward position, start Kanter at the center position, and have Nemanja Bjelica come off the bench. With the addition of Enes Kanter, the Kings can improve their offensive rebounding stat line.
Z-Bo would return to the New York since being traded by the Knicks in 2008. As a 37 year old last season, Randolph averaged a total of 14.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, and 2.2 apg while only playing 25 minutes each game. Even though he didn’t finish the season and hasn’t played at all yet in this current season, he would be a great leader on the young team. The 2-time all-star has yet to average under 10 points per game since his 2ndseason in the league. Even getting older in age, it seems like he has not yet lost his touch in the game of basketball.
In my opinion, Enes Kanter belongs on a playoff team that has a bright future ahead of them. Clearly the Knicks aren’t that team in his mind. This trade may happen before the trade deadline or it may happen during the offseason. So as of now, we just have to wait and see.