Enes Kanter has seen his starting role disappear over the New York Knicks’ last three games, and with that has come a reduction in the amount of time that he’s seen on the floor. As a result, the 26-year-old center has decided to express some discontent to Knicks general manager Scott Perry.
Kanter spoke to the media following New York’s 115-108 loss to Denver on Tuesday night about the meeting, one which comes on the heels of the third game in the row in which David Fizdale opted to start surprising second-year big man Luke Kornet over him. It was at this time that Kanter revealed his decision to go to Perry on Monday and talk about his role.
One thing he did make clear, though, is that while he wanted to have a conversation, Kanter did not request for Perry to send him to another team.
“I did not say, ‘Scott, trade me.’ No I did not say that,” Kanter said, according to ESPN. “Because I like it here a lot. And I probably won’t say to Scott’s face, ‘Scott I want to get traded.’ Because I like it here a lot.
“But again, in the end, we all are competitors, basketball players,” Kanter continued. “I like it here so much, but again I want to win. I want this team to get to the playoffs one day. This is my blood, man. … I’m going out there to get a win every time.”
He went onto stress that “all this anger and frustration is coming from losing,” and that his goal is to “help the young guys and try to be the best teammate” he can be.
Kanter is a veteran on the young Knicks squad and a pretty competitive guy, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that he’s unhappy with a reduced role. It also doesn’t come as a surprise that Fizdale wants to give younger guys a look, both because Kornet has played really well lately and because, as has been illustrated with Frank Ntilikina, the Knicks have frequently changed up their rotation this season.
The possibility exists that Kanter gets moved before the trade deadline, as he’s on an expiring contract and could be of value to a team that wants a scoring punch off the bench as the postseason draws near. If that does happen, though, it sounds like it won’t be because he wants to leave New York.