The Oklahoma City Thunder plan to match Portland Trail Blazer’s offer to keep their restricted free agent Enes Kanter.
Turkish big man signed a 4-year contract offer worth 70 million dollars. The third pick in the 2011 NBA draft, Enes Kanter came to Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a trade in February. This trade included three teams and Reggie Jackson moving to Detroit Pistons.
Portland Trail Blazers wanted Kanter to fill up a whole that is left in the roster by losing LaMarcus Aldridge who signed for the San Antonio Spurs, and Robin Lopez who signed for New York Knicks.
Enes Kanter averaged 15.5 points last season for the Utah Jazz. In 26 games with Oklahoma City Thunder he averaged 18.7 points and 11.0 rebounds.
Oklahoma City Thunder decided to keep the highly skilled 23-year old center with fantastic low-post scoring and one of the best offensive rebounders in the league. But there are a lot of questions regarding this deal.
With this deal Enes Kanter is no longer a young unadapted player making league average money. Now Kanter is facing high expectations and the biggest question remains: is this young man ready to face them?
With Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams in the team, it looks like Oklahoma gave maximum allowable contract to a player who will not be in the starting five. One of the biggest questions is how much can he improve defensively?
New advanced stats show that Kanter is one of the worst defenders in the league. If he makes a bundle of defensive adjustments and with his low-post game, we’re talking about potentially highly diverse player with an impact on both sides. If not, most likely he’ll be spending more time on the bench instead of on the floor.
With the new wave in NBA, where speed, quickness and playmaking ability is everywhere on the floor, it will be interesting to see how much small ball will the Thunder play next season? With Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Nick Collison and Mitch McGary it seems like Oklahoma City Thunder will feel obligated to stay big instead of staying small and fast.
It seems that OKC’s new coach Billy Donovan is gonna have his hands full with trying to get his team to the playoffs this season. Oklahoma believes that Kanter will bring depth to their offense while Serge is providing excellent defense to the team. With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook they may increase their chances to win the NBA title.
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