Enes Kanter is looking for any way out of the tanking New York Knicks locker room, and the Sacramento Kings seem to have thrown out a lifeline. Rumors have linked a trade for Kanter between the Knicks and Kings, with Zach Randolph leaving Sacramento to go the other way. Randolph is 37, and hasn’t played a game this season.
Kanter is in his second year with the Knicks, and averages 14.4 points and 11.1 rebounds a game so far this season. Kanter has expressed his lack of interest in the direction of the franchise, and it is reported that his agent is pushing heavily for a trade before the deadline in the first week of February.
This move makes sense for both the Kings and the Knicks for many reasons. For one, it helps both teams accomplish their goals this season. The Knicks have made it clear that it is a race to the bottom this season, and are tanking to get the worst record, aiding their draft pick value at the end of the year. Acquiring Zach Randolph for Kanter trades one of their more productive players for an injured, aging Randolph, making the Knicks worse and assisting the tanking process. The Knicks have the chance to get a draft pick with Randolph, but with negotiation just beginning, nothing has been finalized .
The Kings, on the other hand, find themselves on the fridges of playoff contention in the west. With a record of 20-21, Sacramento is right in the thick of things this year, despite the high level of competition in the west. If they could add a physical presence like Enes Kanter this time of the season, it could be the move to bump them into that 7th or 8th playoff spot.
From a financial standpoint, there is not much difference in the contracts of Kanter and Randolph. Both are on expiring contracts, meaning that each player will be a free agent after this season. Look for this move to develop as the playoffs near.