Knicks officially release Enes Kanter, Wesley Matthews | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / April 23.
  • Knicks officially release Enes Kanter, Wesley Matthews

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The Knicks officially waived Enes Kanter and Wesley Matthews on Thursday after the NBA trade deadline passed without the team dealing either player.

    ZAGSBLOG reported earlier Thursday that Kanter would be released.

    “From the moment he arrived in New York, Enes passionately embraced our franchise and our city,” said GM Scott Perry.  “He is a courageous individual and we thank him for his many contributions both on the court and in the community.  We wish him the absolute best moving forward, personally and professionally.”

    The 6-foot-11 Kanter, 26, is making $18.6 million this year on an expiring contract. The 6-5 Matthews played just two games with the Knicks and is also on an expiring contract worth $18.6 million. He is expected to sign with the Pacers, The Athletic reported.

    In a Twitter Post, Kanter said, “Each day I spend in the NBA is a blessing and I look forward to my next adventure. Today I have been released by the Knicks, which gives me the opportunity to sign with another team for the remainder of the season.”

    Kanter is averaging 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds, but has been demoted to the fourth string behind DeAndre Jordan, Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet. Before the year began, head coach David Fizdale said Kanter could contend for the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

    “He’s a guy that with the numbers he’s going to get he’s going to have his hat in that Sixth Man of the Year Award,” Fizdale said.

    Kanter was a favorite of the fans and the media because of his outgoing, friendly personality and his enthusiasm for playing in New York. One of the highlights of Kanter’s time in New York came at media day last September when he said, “When I think about the playoffs, my nipples get hard.”

     

    The Knicks are 10-43 and own the NBA’s worst record. They have a 14 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, expected to be Duke’s Zion Williamson.

    The Kanter move is the latest for the Knicks as they re-shape their roster heading into the summer. Last week they sent Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke to Dallas in a blockbuster trade aimed at clearing cap space. They are expected to target Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.