The New York Knicks have expressed interest in making an offer for Kanter, but Anthony Slater thinks that the Thunder will match:
Desperate Knicks may hike the price, but OKC committed to matching https://t.co/UL0kQ8Iklm— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 2, 2015
Enes Kanter — the Oklahoma City Thunder’s top free agent — has plans to meet with the franchise in Chicago on July 1, the two sides targeting an early contract completion, league sources told RealGM.
The Thunder and Kanter are expected to discuss three- and four-year contract sheets that could reach maximum-level money with incentives, sources told RealGM.
For the organization and Kanter, a restricted free agent, there will be an early window in free agency to reach an agreement before one of the top five available big men pursues larger offers elsewhere.
The report is expected, as the Thunder made it clear that re-signing restricted free agents Kyle Singler and Enes Kanter are a priority for them. Kyle Singler is expected as well to re-sign with the Thunder to three-year contract. However, the amount of money is still unknown.
Regardless of the contract details, the Thunder believe they need to re-sign Kanter. He provides them with an elite offensive post presence that Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, and Steven Adams have all struggled to provide since the franchise came to OKC. Kanter has the entire offensive package - he can score in the low post, on the perimeter, out of the pick and roll, and is an exceptional offensive rebounder. He averaged 187 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while shooting 57% from the field for the Thunder last season.
The most frustrating aspect of Kanter, however, has been his defense. WTLC's Kevin Keung wrote this in his end of season review on Kanter:
But Kanter has real problems. He isn't a rim protector, nor does he have adequate foot-speed for defending the perimeter. Perkins showed you can hide that kind of player next to someone like Ibaka, if they're smart and feisty enough. A decent understanding of angles, a Joakim Noah-esque passion for contesting perimeter shots, and some good old-fashioned bully-ball down low got Perk by, maybe more than we gave him credit for in retrospect.
Compared to Perkins, Kanter appeared clueless and lethargic. He was a mess when it came to tracking stretch 4s or containing pick-and-rolls, and while Scott Brooks commonly delegated the former task to Ibaka and Adams, teams would target Kanter in the two-man game.
What do you think? Should the Thunder sign Kanter to a big contract?