Enes Kanter met with Scott Perry on Monday about the Knicks’ overall lack of success lately. Unfortunately, that meeting didn’t start nor end with a trade request, but maybe that’ll come somewhere down the line. From Steve Popper of Newsday:
Kanter, who had his starting job taken away three games ago, insisted that it isn’t the bench role that is bothering him as much as doing it for a team that has lost eight straight games.
“I did not ask for a trade, no,” Kanter said after scoring 17 points and getting 12 rebounds in the Knicks’ 115-108 loss to the Nuggets. “I did not say, ‘Scott, try and trade me.’ No I did not say that. 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, in the end 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 sorry. If anyone asks anything else, I’m not going to do it. I’m going out there to get a win every time.”
So Kanter didn’t meet with Perry to ask for a trade, so much as to state that he’s not happy with the losing. He did, however, volunteer the information that the meeting even occurred. So perhaps that, in and of itself, is his own prideful way of asking for a trade?
The only thing that’s really, truly clear here is that Kanter is still of the belief that this team can (or should be) winning games, which is very clearly not something that this team is very good at. As a matter of fact, the more Kanter plays, the greater chance the Knicks seem to have of catching an L.
Two starting lineups, two different results in terms of net rating:— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) January 2, 2019
Kanter + Vonleh/Knox/THJ/Mudiay
Kornet + Vonleh/Knox/THJ/Mudiay
It’s also possible that Kanter hinted in some way to Perry that he’d like to be traded, and Perry informed him that, as a really large expiring contract, it could be difficult to find equal money to trade for without taking on additional long-term money. It’s this Knicks front office’s stated goal to chase free agents this coming offseason, and Kanter’s expiring deal and subsequent cap space that it will create is a big part of that.
So, yeah. Take from Kanter’s comments what you will. Ultimately, there’s probably a reason that he brought that up, seemingly unprovoked, in the locker room after the Knicks’ eighth straight loss and 13th in their last 14 games. He’s not asking for a trade, but he wants to win. Soooo, basically he’s asking for a trade.