Enes Kanter was one of the players the New York Knicks acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Carmelo Anthony trade deal in the summer of 2017. Despite the logjam in the Knicks’ frontcourt, Kanter managed to establish an impressive performance in his first season in New York, averaging 14.1 points and 11.0 rebounds on 59.2 percent shooting from the field.
When the 2017-18 NBA season ended, there were speculations that Enes Kanter would opt out of the final year of his contract and test the free agency market. With Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss the most of the 2018-19 NBA season recovering from ACL injury, most people believed it would be best for Kanter to leave the Knicks and join a legitimate playoff contender. A controversial “deer tweet” which was posted and immediately deleted by the veteran center created the belief that he would be joining the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency.
Unfortunately, Enes Kanter ended up opting in the final year of his contract to return to the Knicks for another season. In a recent interview with Royce Young of ESPN, Kanter talked about what really happened before he made a decision this offseason.
“I swear. The night before I went to my friend’s house, I ate dinner and I was coming back to my house in an Uber and I was so bored. So I posted the deer emoji, and five minutes later I deleted it. On purpose. So everybody was talking about it. I was like, ‘This is going viral, this is crazy.'”
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Enes Kanter told Young that he was trolling the media. The 26-year-old center also said that he’s not interested in playing in Milwaukee, and the only thing that can convince him to leave the Knicks for the Bucks is if they would offer a bigger contract.
“You gotta mess with the media a little. Because I know I was not going to go to the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s the Milwaukee Bucks. Unless they give you good, good money, then go, but you don’t leave New York for Milwaukee.”
New York may be a better place to stay than Milwaukee, but as of now, there is no way that the Knicks are a better NBA team than the Bucks. The Bucks are currently one of the rising teams in the Eastern Conference, while the Knicks are once again expected to miss the NBA Playoffs next season. Though they failed to sign Kanter, the Bucks were still able to boost their frontcourt with the acquisition of Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova in the recent free agency.