Enes Kanter finds new home with Trail Blazers

Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter The Canadian Press

Free-agent center Enes Kanter has signed a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, he said Wednesday. I look forward to helping the Blazers achieve the ultimate goal of competing for a championship.

Kanter, 26, publicly expressed his frustrations with his lack of playing time in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, but the Knicks were unable to find a trade partner due to his $18.6 million contract.

He heads to a Portland team placed fourth in the Western Conference with a 33-23 record and will spend the remainder of this season backing up Jusuf Nurkic, a role he found success with in OKC, finishing third in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year back in 2016. Kanter is an important addition for Blazers, where he'll play a good share of minutes.

The third overall pick by the Utah Jazz in the 2011 Draft, the 6-11 center has averaged 11.9 points on 55 percent shooting from the field and 7.6 points in 560 games over the course of his seven-plus National Basketball Association season. The Trail Blazers tendered an offer sheet to Kanter when he was a restricted free agent in 2015, though Oklahoma City eventually matched.

The eighth-year center averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebound season with NY this season.

Kanter had fallen out of the Knicks' rotation, losing his starting spot after just five games, as the Knicks pile up the losses and prioritize their younger players.

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