New York Knicks: Signing Enes Kanter To Long-Term Deal Is Smart Move [Opinion]

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The New York Knicks are never done with difficult decisions. A few months removed from the Carmelo Anthony fiasco, they will now have to deal with the contract of Enes Kanter. Although Kanter has been with the Knicks for less than a season, Scott Perry should have some sort of idea of how he wants to play this out.

Kanter has a player-option after this season. If Kanter decides to stay, it will cost the New York Knicks $18.6 million. While this may be a bargain in terms of his production, the Knicks may have shot themselves in the foot thanks to the contract of Joakim Noah. According to Sportrac, Noah is set to make $18.5 million himself and this may cause the Knicks to try to trade Kanter if they cannot find a solution to this Noah nonsense.

With Kristaps Porzingis set to hit the market in 2019, it will be wise for the Knicks to start planning for the future. Kanter, since coming over in the Anthony trade, has delivered for the Knicks to the tune of 13.4 points and 10.1 rebounds. However, those numbers could be higher if Kanter were to play more than 25.8 minutes per game.

It’s clear that the Knicks have found an upgrade at the center position this season compared to last when it was a revolving door of highly-paid and no-name players. While Porzingis has done much of the heavy lifting this year, it’s been his chemistry with Kanter that has provided the Knicks’ fan base with optimism. When Frank Ntilikina got into it with LeBron James, it was Kanter who came to his rescue. That type of toughness is what the Knicks have been missing since the days of Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley. Kanter is exactly what the Knicks need to help Porzingis be the leader they hope he can be.

Take a look at the NBA and slowly the game is being brought back to the paint. With Joel Embiid, DeMarcus Cousins, Myles Turnes, and Andre Drummond, the post players are beginning to take center stage once again. The Knicks need a player who will put it all on the line and do the dirty work no one else wants to do. While Kanter is not the best defensive player in the league, he has helped the Knicks rank in the top 10 in rebounding, and top six in offensive rebounding.

If keeping this young core intact is a top priority, then Perry has to offer Kanter a contract sometime this season.