New York Knicks: Enes Kanter opting in is the right move

New York Knicks. Enes Kanter (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
New York Knicks. Enes Kanter (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks center Enes  Kanter isn’t going anywhere as he has decided to exercise his player option for the 2018-19 season.

The decision has finally been made! No, I’m not talking about which team LeBron James will be on next season.

The decision I am talking about is the one where New York Knicks center Enes Kanter announced on Friday that he has picked up his $18.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season.

Kanter announced on Twitter that he’s opting in, and channeled his inner Donald Trump while doing so. “#MakeKnicksGreatAgain” Kanter tweeted:

The center averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds last season. He also became the first Knicks player to average a double-double since Tyson Chandler did it in 2013. Kanter is expected to be the Knicks starting center next season.

The Knicks now have very limited money to use on free agents this summer. They are projected to have a $8.6 million  non-tax midlevel exception and a $3.5 million biannual exception to offer any free agents they want to go after, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Kanter picking up his option isn’t a surprise since he wanted to be with the Knicks. The hiring of David Fizdale as the Knicks new head coach definitely made Kanter’s decision easier.

“With Coach Fizdale, I want to stay more,’’ the center continued to tell Marc Berman of the New York Post:

"“I know his mentality, I know how much freedom he gives to his players. It’s going to help my decision for sure. I think he’s going to change a lot of things. He seems like a relationship with him is like a friendship relationship. It’s not a player-coach relationship. I talked to him for two hours and it gives you so much confidence.’’"

Kanter picking up his option was the right move for him and the Knicks. The Knicks are going to need Kanter offensively in the upcoming season with Kristaps Porzingis being out due to a ACL injury.

The Knicks also need Kanter because they don’t have depth at the center position since Kyle O’Quinn opted out and will be a free agent and Joakim Noah‘s future with the Knicks is uncertain.

Kanter could also be a mentor for the Knicks second draft pick, rookie center Mitchell Robinson.

“I watched videos [of Robinson],” Kanter told Berman. “He’s athletic. He’s going to be really good for us. He can bring a lot of energy and have an effect on the defensive end and he’s just going to get better on offense.”

If Kanter does mentor Robinson, then maybe he could also mentor the Knicks first draft pick Kevin Knox too. Mentoring those two rookies could help the Knicks get better as they work on a rebuild.

Kanter made the right decision by opting in because if he had opted out then the Knicks wouldn’t get better and would continue to struggle and be one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Kanter staying is good news for the rookies too because he will mentor them and help them develop. Helping the rookies out should help the whole team improve.

Next: Who exactly is Mitchell Robinson?

So let’s hope that Kanter does make the Knicks great again.