Enes Kanter has had himself a busy day. After calling Zion Williamson “Julius Randle with hops”, it is now being reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, that Kanter is expected to receive interest from several high profile teams once free agency begins on June 30th. Among those teams are his current organization, the Portland Trail Blazers, along with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
Free agent center Enes Kanter is expected to receive interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics on June 30, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 26, 2019
The former Kentucky big man averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 23 regular season games for the Portland Trail Blazers last season after being waived by the New York Knicks in February. After an encouraging performance in the Blazers playoff run, Kanter has gone through a slight career revival. In New York, he was stuck in the mud without much hope of consistent playing time or a winning culture.
Kanter’s move to Portland was ultimately a rebirth for a player who came in and performed at a high level during the playoffs. Following Jusuf Nurkic’s devastating leg injury, Portland needed relief at center with the playoffs approaching and Kanter stepped up big time. Now, he’s expected to be a valuable commodity on the free agency market.
I personally don’t see him returning to Portland, despite all the good (although, some bad) he did there. With a healthy Nurkic expected to return next season and a young Zach Collins behind him, the Trail Blazers have their frontcourt to build around (not to mention Skal Labissiere, who is also on the roster). The Celtics and Lakers, on the other hand, are much more realistic options. The Lakers will be looking to add significant talent for cheap with the idea that a championship is the reward. The Celtics, falling into a fiery spiral of disarray, could probably offer Kanter a sizable contract, especially if Kyrie Irving and Al Horford skip town. Odds are high he’d start on either team. Kanter, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James could be a productive frontcourt (that is, if Davis can hold everything down on defense).
Kanter is 27 now. He’ll likely be looking to obtain a least a two-year deal for some stability. He’s already played for four NBA teams in only eight seasons. As a Kentucky fan, I hope they put Kanter on the Lakers the second free agency hits. As an NBA fan, I just hope we get some more classic Kanter antics out of all this.