Nearly four years after Kanter signed an offer sheet with the Trail Blazers in the summer of 2015, the Turkish big man has agreed to a deal with the team for the remainder of the season. He tweeted out the news himself on Wednesday afternoon. “I look forward to helping the Blazers achieve the ultimate goal of competing for a championship,” Kanter wrote.
Kanter started the season with the New York Knicks, but quickly fell out of favor. Once a starter, he was then moved to the bench, and most recently wasn’t playing at all, racking up a number of DNP-CDs in January. Frustrated with his decreasing role, Kanter spoke out in the media, saying he didn’t understand the decision.
With Kanter frustrated, and the Knicks tanking the rest of the season in an effort to increase their chances of getting the No. 1 overall pick, there was no reason to keep him around. Thus, following the trade deadline, the team agreed to a buyout, making Kanter a free agent.
The drama surrounding his playing time wasn’t the only issue Kanter has had to deal with this season. In mid-January, Kanter skipped the Knicks’ trip to London for their Global Games Series matchup with the Washington Wizards due to fear that he could be killed in retaliation for his criticism of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“I want to be out there but just because of that one lunatic guy, that one maniac, I can’t go out there and do my job,” Kanter said at the time. “It’s pretty sad.”