Knicks Waive Enes Kanter Amid Playing Time, Turkish Government Issues

The Knicks were unable to find a trade before Thursday's deadline for Kanter, their former starting center who had fallen out of the rotation altogether with New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Knicks have waived Enes Kanter, ending a year-long spat over playing time.

The Knicks were unable to find a trade before Thursday’s deadline for Kanter, their former starting center who had fallen out of the rotation altogether with New York having the worst record in the league and focusing on its younger players.

The center from Turkey was acquired from Oklahoma City in the Carmelo Anthony trade in September 2017 and averaged 14 points and 10.8 rebounds in 115 games over two seasons. He had become frustrated after first losing his starting spot and then any spot at all in recent weeks.

Kanter has been outspoken about having been seemingly blacklisted by coach David Fizdale.

“They told me this morning that I’m starting,” Kanter said on Jan. 23. “Now I come to the game and I didn’t even play. I’m trying to be a good teammate, but I want to play basketball. If you’re going to play me here, play me. If not, just get me out of here.”

The Turkish center has also been at the heart of a political controversy in his home country. It was revealed in January that Turkish prosecutors are seeking an international arrest warrant for Kanter, accusing him of membership in a terror organization.

Kanter did not travel to London for the team’s international game last month because he believed he could be assassinated for his public opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

General manager Scott Perry says Kanter “passionately embraced our franchise and our city,” adding that “he is a courageous individual and we thank him for his many contributions both on the court and in the community.”

Wesley Matthews was also waived after being acquired last week from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. He played in just two games. The veteran swingman is averaging 12.8 points this season.

Players on an NBA roster have to be waived by March 1 in order to be eligible to sign with another team an appear in the postseason.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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