Enes Kanter’s tumultuous time with the New York Knicks has come to an end.
The 26-year-old, 6-11 center who spent a season practicing with Kentucky in 2010-11 even though the NCAA ruled him ineligible to play, got waived by the Knicks after Thursday’s trading deadline.
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Kanter had become a fan favorite in New York, but the franchise chose to shelve him after the start of 2019 ostensibly to develop other players despite his average production of 14 points and 10.5 rebounds in 44 games. Kanter bristled at the move and went public with his discontent.
Kanter exercised his $18.6 million player option to remain with the Knicks after he was traded from Oklahoma City in 2017. Kanter made headlines last month after refusing to participate in the Knicks’ game against the Wizards in London because he said he feared for his life due to his opposition to the current regime in his native Turkey.
Kanter and the Knicks parted amicably with both praising the other in statements Thursday.
“New York will always have a special place in my heart and I look forward to returning here and playing in front of these amazing fans again!” Kanter posted to his Twitter account.