The relationship between Kevin Durant and Enes Kanter started to turn sour after KD decided to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer of 2016 to join their Western Conference rivals, Golden State Warriors. Even after he was traded to the New York Knicks, Kanter’s feelings for Durant remained the same. Kanter and Durant frequently butted heads and had heated conversations whenever they see each other on the court.
However, Enes Kanter started to change his attitude towards Kevin Durant after learning that the Knicks have a chance to acquire him next offseason. In the recent ESPN Summer Forecast, panelists gave the Knicks the second highest percentage of votes to become KD’s 2019 free agency destination. Kanter said he would love to become teammates with Durant again and called him his “best friend.”
“I’ve been hard on him the last two years,” Kanter said on Sirius XM Radio (h/t New York Post). “As soon as I learned he’s becoming a free agent, he’s my best friend. I can’t say enough of the guy. He’s the best scorer to ever play the game. Who wouldn’t want KD to wear a New York uniform? We are New York. He’s a free agent. We need to use that. We are the best city in the world. That could draw a lot of attention for free agents. I would love for him to be my teammate again.”
Despite failing to convince LeBron James to sign with the Knicks this offseason, Enes Kanter expressed his willingness to become the team’s main free agent recruiter next summer. Once the Knicks succeed to get rid of Joakim Noah’s contract, they will be in a strong position to create enough salary cap space for max free agent in the summer of 2019. Kevin Durant’s legacy is currently haunted by his decision to join the 73-9 Warriors in the 2016 NBA free agency. Kanter believes Durant will have the chance “to build a brand all over again” once he signs with the Knicks.
Aside from recruiting Durant, Enes Kanter should also be worried about his impending free agency. The 26-year-old center will be entering the final year of the four-year, $70 million contract he signed with the Thunder in 2015. When Kanter was traded to the Knicks, he already told them about his desire to stay in New York long term. However, Kanter will be needing to take a huge discount to maintain their salary cap flexibility and prevent the Knicks from being buried deep in the luxury hell.