A free agent after this season and a veteran averaging a double-double, Kanter would likely see real minutes on most teams. Of course, the Knicks are instead more committed to giving minutes to young centers Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson for the rest of the season, per their coach.
Because of that decision, Kanter has seen zero minutes in four of the Knicks’ past five games, though it should be noted that one of those absences was for a very good reason and one was for a very bad reason. That background aside, Kanter has become frustrated. He was more than happy to say that to reporters after the Knicks’ loss to the Rockets on Wednesday.
Enes Kanter: ‘What they’re doing to me is pretty messed up’
Kanter was set to start for the Knicks against the Rockets and said he was told so by Knicks coach David Fizdale, but the Rockets’ lineups seemed to motivate the Knicks to go small. That left Kanter without any minutes.
After the game, Kanter was an open book with reporters.
Enes Kanter says he was told this morning by the Knicks he would start tonight vs the Rockets. He got a DNP instead.
"What they're doing to me is pretty messed up. I deserve better."
Kanter pretty much asks to be traded.
"You either play me or let me play." pic.twitter.com/EufOCAkidF
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) January 24, 2019
“What they’re doing to me is pretty messed up because they just told me this morning that I’m starting,” Kanter said. “Coach said himself that I’m starting and now, I come to the game, didn’t even play.”
Kanter went on to say, “If you’re going to play me here, play me. If not, get me out of here.”
That seems to be a fair stance for Kanter, given that he likely loses value as a free agent for every game he watches from the bench. Not to mention that benching a player after telling him he’ll start is unprofessional if true.
The Turkish big man is currently averaging 14.4 points on a team-leading 54.1 percent shooting and 10.8 rebounds per game. You’d think that would be enough to get minutes, but again, the Knicks’ priority is to see if they can develop a big man for the future rather than ride a player who is almost certain to be gone after this season.
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