Recent rumors have suggested that there are a number of NBA teams interested in acquiring New York Knicks center Enes Kanter. With Kanter still putting up big numbers off the bench for New York, a recent Twitter post from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggests that the Knicks are in talks with the Sacramento Kings and hoping to swap the Turkish big man for another player with an expiring contract, veteran power forward Zach Randolph.
In a tweet shared on Wednesday, Wojnarowski stressed that, per league sources, both the Knicks and the Kings are still far away from coming to terms on a potential trade. However, he added that Sacramento is hoping to dump a few more expiring contracts aside from Randolph’s, and that a third team “could be helpful” in making the deal more plausible.
As noted by NBC Sports, the Sacramento Kings have several other players whose contracts are due to expire at the end of the 2018-19 season, including guards Iman Shumpert and Ben McLemore and backup center Kosta Koufos. Likewise, the 37-year-old Randolph is eligible for free agency this summer and has yet to see action this season. Earlier in November, Kings management confirmed that Randolph will be pulled from the rotation in order for the team to focus on their younger big men, such as center Willie Cauley-Stein and rookie power forward Marvin Bagley III.
Zach Randolph, a two-time All-Star who is currently in his 18th season in the NBA, led the Kings in scoring in the 2017-18 season, averaging 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds in 59 games, as shown on his Basketball-Reference player page. He has career averages of 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds and had previously played for the Knicks in the 2007-08 season and in the first few weeks of 2008-09.
Meanwhile, Enes Kanter has continued playing solidly in the final year of his four-year contract, as he currently averages 14.4 points and 11 rebounds for the New York Knicks despite his recent demotion to the bench. According to NBC Sports, Kanter could potentially provide a boost to the Kings as they remain in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference, but might come with his share of “off-court issues” due to his well-documented opposition of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
As reported last week by the Inquisitr, Kanter announced in a statement that he would not be playing for the Knicks when they travel to London to face the Washington Wizards on January 17, citing his concern that Erdogan, whom he once called the “Hitler of our century,” might have him assassinated.