The marriage between Enes Kanter and the Boston Celtics could be a short-term union after a less than stellar first season in Beantown for the Turkish center.
Sometimes, things don’t work out in life. Instead of being sad, it’s easier to be introspective. For the Boston Celtics and Enes Kanter, there was potential, there was excitement, but ultimately there wasn’t a role that made sense for both parties.
With the Cs projected to be pushing past the luxury tax this upcoming season–and things looking even direr in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic wiping out revenues from live fans–deals like Kanter’s $5 million (player option) for next season don’t have a place on this roster, given his projected contributions.
Luckily, there could be reasons for Kanter to opt-out and help alleviate Boston’s expected roster crunch. Here are 3 such reasons:
1. There will be a market for his services
Kanter had his worst statistical season since his second year in the league in green and white, posting averages of eight points and seven rebounds per game. Still, his per-36 minutes averages of 17 points and 10 rebounds are enticing enough for a team to hand him a fat one-year contract.
Taking long-term risks on young players in free agency seems like a strategy most teams would avoid, but doling out what could be seen as an overpay for just one season could be a prudent move for a reliable veteran like Kanter. At worst, he could be flipped at the deadline for a high-impact salary.
The Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks all profile as potential suitors who can offer him more money than what he is slated to make with the Boston Celtics.
2. He can get an expanded role
If Kanter does need to take the one-year overpay route, he should position himself to maximize his earning potential in 2021 free agency. The league should at least have a better idea on when (or if) the salary cap would recover by then (you’d hope).
The best way for Kanter to get a big contract when he’s 29–one that could perhaps be the last long-term pact of his career–is to find a team where he can find his way onto the floor the most. Winning may need to take a backseat to personal success in 2020-21 for Kanter, though marrying the two would certainly do the trick as well.
3. He could avoid getting traded and losing the choice of his next team
The worst-case scenario for Kanter’s free agency would be to forgo it and end up losing the choice of his next team by giving the Celtics the chance to trade him after opting in. Depending on his preferences, he could end up miserable by way of trying to do right by his team.
Though he has formed close friendships with fellow Cs Vincent Poirier and Tacko Fall, in particular, Danny Ainge would not give up the chance to use him as an asset to acquire an impact player like Larry Nance, who has recently been linked to Boston in trade rumors.