Enes Kanter agrees to join Trail Blazers

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after the 2018-19 National Basketball Association trade deadline passed, the New York Knicks waived Enes Kanter prior to the March 1 deadline to be eligible for the playoffs.

"I look forward to helping the Blazers achieve the ultimate goal of competing for a championship", Kanter wrote on his social media Twitter feed. He was being pursued by a bevy of teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kanter, 26, publicly expressed his frustrations with his lack of playing time in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, but the Knicks were unable to find a trade partner due to his $18.6 million contract.

The Blazers are now sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference with a record of 33-23. Portland signed Kanter to a $70M offer sheet in 2015, which OKC matched.

Kanter has appeared in 560 career games with the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Knicks. With many veterans hitting the open market following the trade deadline, we knew that Neil Olshey would presumably target one of these newly bought out players to help the team in the playoffs, but rumors were slim.

In 44 games this season, Enes Kanter is averaging 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per contest. In fact, Kanter is even* a href="https://stats.nba.com/players/traditional/?sort=REB&dir=-1&Season=2018-19&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&PerMode=Per36&CF=GP*GE*20" * fifth in the NBA in rebounds per 36 minutes (minimum 20 games played).

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