Jazz center Enes Kanter plans to enter restricted free agency next summer

Adrian WojnarowskiThe Vertical

After ending discussions on the possibility of a contract extension with the Utah Jazz, center Enes Kanter plans to enter restricted free agency next summer, his agent told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday.

Jazz center Enes Kanter, left, is looking to expand his game offensively this season. (AP)
Jazz center Enes Kanter, left, is looking to expand his game offensively this season. (AP)

“We have mutually agreed with Utah to concentrate on the season and look at our options again in the summer,” agent Max Ergul said in a telephone interview. “Enes likes Utah and the organization very much, and now he can concentrate on continuing to grow as a player and helping them win.”

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The NBA’s deadline for rookie extensions for the draft class of 2011 is Friday at midnight ET.

The Jazz are still engaged in discussions with shooting guard Alec Burks, who is also eligible for a rookie extension before Friday night’s deadline.

As a restricted free agent, the Jazz could match an offer sheet and retain Kanter. After failing to agree on an extension with Utah a year ago, Gordon Hayward signed a four-year, $63 million maximum offer sheet with Charlotte in July – only to have Utah match and keep him.

Kanter, 22, the third overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, will assuredly benefit from another full year of development, especially under new coach Quin Snyder. Kanter’s size and skill will make him an intriguing player on the summer market, and several teams told Yahoo Sports they’ll be scouting him closely to gauge his full value and potential. The Jazz have gathered a fine collection of young frontcourt players, including Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert and Kanter.

Kanter is expanding his offensive role with the Jazz this season and had a 27-point performance in the preseason. Snyder also has encouraged him to step out and take open 3-point shots. Kanter averaged 12.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in 80 games for the Jazz a year ago.

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