The New York Knicks are 24-37.
Their star, Kristaps Porzingis, recently tore his ACL and will be out for the rest of this season and presumably a large chunk of the next campaign as well.
The drama between the organization and Joakim Noah has created distracting headlines for the struggling franchise.
A confusing mix of younger players and veterans take the floor every night with seemingly no direction in mind in either the short or long term.
But, center Enes Kanter really loves playing in New York and has repeatedly stated that he never wants to leave. The 25-year-old has averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in 26.0 minutes per contest for the Knicks in his first season with the team and he holds an $18.66 million player option for next year.
“This is the place I want to be,” Kanter told Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “I’ve said it from the beginning because I know the organization. I love the city, lot of Turkish people. With KP or without KP, I want to be here for sure.”
He continued, “This is a rebuilding team and the guys around us are really amazing. From the top guy to the last guy everybody has just been awesome to me. Everybody opened their arms for me from day one. We’re just going to get better.”
He also made it clear that he’s not thinking about his contract or the money that he envisions making in the Big Apple.
“I’m not saying I’m opting in or opting out,” Kanter said. “I’m going to focus on this season, finish this season. I don’t even have an agent yet. I’ll get an agent first and talk to him about [it]. … My thing right now it would be selfish for me to just say I’ll do this, I’ll do that. I’m going to finish this season right, have fun with my teammates and start thinking about the contract stuff.”
Based on his on-court production and popularity within New York’s fanbase, the Knicks most likely would like to have him on the team moving forward. As seen first on the Oklahoma City Thunder and now on the Knicks, Kanter is the epitome of a team player and will accept literally any role he is given.
For example, he even said he was fine if the Knicks decide to shut him down and give younger players minutes down the stretch this season.
“I’ll be here, whatever they want me to do,” Kanter admitted. “If they’re going to shut me down, OK, I’ll just cheer from the bench. If they say play zero minutes I’m going to sit there and clap for my teammates. If they’re going to play me 35 minutes I’ll be OK with that too.”
Although his future is in his hands in regards to remaining a Knick next season, it will be up to the franchise to determine if he will be a cornerstone of their future since he will most likely command massive multi-year contract figure on the open market in the summer of 2019.News Now - Sport News