The Thunder decided to pony up and pay Enes Kanter the 70 million dollars the Trail Blazers offered him. Now, Kanter is being called out by the Oklahoman and Berry Tramel to prove his worth. The three things Tramel lists is:
1. Continued offensive excellence.
2. Defensive improvement. Lots of defensive improvement.
3. A good attitude when he’s not playing the minutes associated with $17.5 million a season.
It’s hard to argue against Tramel. Kanter has always been an offensive star with a wide array of moves and ability to put the ball in the hoop. He’s always been a good rebounder, especially when given the minutes. But, Kanter is an awful defender. In fact awful might be too nice of the way he played defense last year.
When Kanter was traded from Utah on Feb. 19, the Thunder ranked ninth in NBA defense – 99.7 points per 100 possessions. The Jazz ranked 26th, 104.9. In two months, basically a third of a season, Utah caught the Thunder. The Jazz finished 13th in NBA defense, 101.3 points per 100 possessions. OKC was 15th, 101.8. That needs to change next season and obviously injuries for the Thunder were a part of that, but Kanter also ranked 469th out of 474 in individual defensive rating.
Kanter is a special player and there’s no doubt he can improve defensively. Hopefully with a full season of playing alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook instead of Alec Burks and Trey Burke help Kanter grow as a player. Regardless it shows what people in the NBA think of Enes by having two teams offer him $70 million.