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Enes Kanter

Trey Burke (23) Frank Ntilikina (11) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Trey Burke (23) Frank Ntilikina (11) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The 2018-19 season is going to be a transitional one for the Knicks.With a brand-new coach in David Fizdale and a highly touted rookie in Kevin Knox, there is plenty of reason for a long-suffering fanbase to be hopeful for the future. But there's also a lot of uncertainty.

Kristaps Porzingis is rehabbing a torn left ACL, and it remains to be seen when he'll play - or how good he'll look when he does. Second-year guard Frank Ntilikina showed promise in his rookie campaign, particularly on the defensive end of the floor, but he still has a long way to go.

After waiving Joakim Noah's onerous contract with the stretch provision, Scott Perry and Steve Mills will go into 2019 free agency armed with enough cap space to lure a big name. In the meantime, the Knicks can choose one of two paths: Go for broke and make a dark-horse playoff run, or embrace the tank for one more year and add to their collection of young players. Each approach would have its advantages and its drawbacks...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke
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David Fizdale on competing 00:00:31
Knicks head coach David Fizdale talked about the necessity of competition after his team won its 3rd game of the preseason.

The Knicks collected their third straight preseason victory with a 106-100 win over the Pelicans at MSG on Friday night. >> Box Score

Five Knicks ended up with double-digit points, with Tim Hardaway Jr. collecting a team-high 21 points on 6-of-18 from the field and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. 

Enes Kanter produced another double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds as well as five assists. Lance Thomas and rookie Kevin Knox scored 13 and 12 points respectively. And finally, Noah Vonleh had 10 points coming off the bench. 

Tags: Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke
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Feb 12, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Amir Johnson (5) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) battle for position during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Feb 12, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Amir Johnson (5) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) battle for position during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

There may be no 'D' in "Enes Kanter," but Knicks coach David Fizdale begs to differ.

Fizdale said the 26-year-old center is beginning to flaunt some skills on the defensive side of the ball.

"I just want him to be who he is -- a bruiser and banger," Fizdale told the New York Post. "I think he's starting to show he's a better defender than everyone tried to label him as. That's real hard work and conditioning and systematically putting him in the right place. He's doing a heckuva job defensively. On the glass, he's a terror."

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Oct 1, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) passes the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 1, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) passes the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Undrafted rookie G Allonzo Trier had the hot hand with 25 points in the Knicks' victory over the Nets, 107-102, in Brooklyn. >> Box score 

Trier was lights out in the first half, where he scored 12 points in just about four minutes. He finished with 20 at the end of the half, while tallying four rebounds and one assists in the contest as well.

Enes Kanter was a strong presence at the rim with 22 points and 19 rebounds for a double-double. He also collected two blocks...

Tags: Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke
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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

Knicks rookie Mitchell Robinson continues to get praise from teammates, the latest coming from Enes Kanter.

Kanter spoke highly of the 20-year-old Robinson, who was a double-double machine during the Summer League, throwing down vicious dunks as he and fellow rookie Kevin Knox stole the show.

"He's a very talented guy," Kanter said, via ESPN. "He's hungry. He's very hungry to learn. He's willing to learn. That's the most important thing."

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Kyrie Irving (11) Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Kyrie Irving (11) Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The rumors continue to swirl around the Knicks' plans for this upcoming offseason, and Celtics G Kyrie Irving is right in the middle of them. In fact, he may be the most important piece.

NBC Sports Boston's A. Sherrod Blakely spoke on NBC Sports Chicago's "Bulls Talk" podcast on Wednesday, and he divulged what he is hearing about the Knicks' intentions with Irving in 2019. 

"I can tell you right now, the New York Knicks, he is their No. 1 target," Blakely said.

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January 18, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter (11) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35), guard Stephen Curry (30), and center JaVale McGee (1) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Thunder 121-100. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
January 18, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter (11) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35), guard Stephen Curry (30), and center JaVale McGee (1) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Thunder 121-100. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

Knicks C Enes Kanter has trash-talked Kevin Durant, but he also has been his teammate -- and now he hopes they can team up again in New York next year.

Durant signed a two-year deal with Golden State, but he is able to opt out after the first year. Kanter said he will "try to recruit" Durant once that time comes.

"I've been hard on him the last two years," Kanter said on Sirius XM Radio. "As soon as I learned he's becoming a free agent, he's my best friend. I can't say enough of the guy. He's the best scorer to ever play the game. Who wouldn't want KD to wear a New York uniform?"

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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

With many of the NBA's highest-profile players heading to the Western Conference, Knicks C Enes Kanter gave a hot-take comparison between both conferences. 

"East and West, look at the East," he told ESPN's Royce Young. "East is like AAU teams, and the West is like, the league."

The biggest addition to the Western Conference was LeBron James, who joined the Lakers. There is also the super-team Warriors that is comprised of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and now, DeMarcus Cousins

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Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls (21) and Eastern Conference forward Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers (2) talk during the NBA All-Star Practice at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)
Feb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls (21) and Eastern Conference forward Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers (2) talk during the NBA All-Star Practice at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports (Bob Donnan)

It's no secret the Knicks are still in rebuilding mode this season. But next season -- the offseason in particular -- they are looking to make a big leap from bottom of the barrel team in the East, to a high-powered contender. 

How? Taking advantage of a stout free-agent market. 

Knicks C Enes Kanter may be gearing up for this season, but he does have his mind on future free agency that could see a couple All-Stars as new teammates by the end of it. It was reported earlier that Celtics PG Kyrie Irving and Timberwolves G Jimmy Butler have talked about teaming up together in the NBA, and New York could be that destination in 2019 when they both hit free agency. 

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Kanter to opt in to Knicks 00:01:23
The DNL panel discusses Enes Kanter's decision to remain with the Knicks for the 2018-19 campaign, while making nearly $19 million.

Center Enes Kanter said he still has yet to make a decision on whether he decided to opt into his $18.6 million player option with the Knicks after a report said he would exercise that option.

Eight minutes after Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania said Friday morning that Kanter would opt in and remain with New York for the 2018-19 season, Kanter responded by saying, "I haven't made any decisions yet."

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Dec 22, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 22, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

If Enes Kanter stays a Knick, he knows exactly who he will mentor next season. 

Kanter has until Friday to decided whether or not to opt out of his $18.6 million player option, and he noted that the addition of new head coach David Fizdale makes staying in New York a stronger possibility. He also said the Knicks have first priority to show him they want him back next season. 

So, saying he does come back, Kanter has an eye on working closely with New York's second-round draft choice in C Mitchell Robinson. Robinson didn't play at the collegiate level last season, and instead of returning to Western Kentucky to showcase his skills, he made the decision to prep for the Draft instead. 

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New York Knicks’ Enes Kanter of Switzerland plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) (Jim Mone/AP)
New York Knicks’ Enes Kanter of Switzerland plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) (Jim Mone/AP)

Enes Kanter has until Friday to decide whether or not he wishes to opt out of his deal with the Knicks. But the addition of head coach David Fizdale may entice him to stay, per The Post's Marc Berman.

"With Coach Fizdale, I want to stay more," Kanter said. "I know his mentality, I know how much freedom he gives to his players. It's going to help my decision for sure. I think he's going to change a lot of things. He seems like a relationship with him is like a friendship relationship. It's not a player-coach relationship. I talked to him for two hours and it gives you so much confidence."

Kanter and Fizdale met during the NBA Draft combine in Chicago in May, and one of the main takeaways from their two-hour conversation was for Kanter to get in the gym and start shooting threes. Kanter listened as he has been seen working with former Knicks developmental coach Chris Brickley in three-point drills. 

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter in game four of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter in game four of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

LeBron James will almost certainly become a free agent on Friday, when he's expected to opt out of his contract with the Cavaliers.

But unlike in 2010 -- when the Knicks were among the teams to pitch him -- James doesn't want any elaborate pitches this time around, sources close to him told ESPN.

Rumors have swirled that James could wind up with the Lakers, though former NBA All-Star and current TNT analyst Reggie Miller believes the Knicks could be a viable option...

Tags: Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Dec 22, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 22, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Knicks C Enes Kanter learned Monday that his father, Dr. Mehmet Kanter, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, per Bleacher Report's Yaron Weitzman.

There has reportedly been an arrest warrant issued for Dr. Kanter, and when he returns to Istanbul, he is likely to be brought into custody. It is unknown what exactly he is being charged with, but Kanter believes it is the latest comeback from his government for his public criticism of the Turkish government, more specifically of president Recep Erdogan.

Because of his public comments, Kanter has not been in contact with his family overseas. But, even with the sentencing of his father, Kanter isn't going to stop being a voice for those back home.

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New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in New York. The Knicks hired Fizdale after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer/AP)
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in New York. The Knicks hired Fizdale after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Jake Brown | Twitter | Accountability. Accountability. Accountability. That is something David Fizdale is ready to hammer down. And It's something that Jeff Hornacek failed to do in his two forgettable seasons coaching the Knicks.

According to Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, current NBA players, coaches, and executives all spoke highly of Fizdale, calling him someone who holds people accountable. That attribute, mixed with being a "tireless worker" and an "innovative basketball mind," all add up to what the Knicks have been missing.

Also, a high character head coach is something the Knicks badly needed. Fizdale fills that void. Nobody used the words "high character" when speaking about Hornacek. The 43-year-old Fizdale is a dozen years younger and can get into the ears of these players. If someone is playing poorly, Fizdale will sit them...

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Troy Williams, Jake Brown
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Cavaliers star F LeBron James was back in New York on Monday night, and he wanted all in MSG to know that he still believes he is "King of New York."

In fact, it was written on his signature shoe.

James flaunted his Nike LeBron 15 sneakers in black and red, but it was the message written on the back that caught everyone's eyes. The words "I'm" and "King." were seen on the left and right shoe respectively.

Tags: Enes Kanter
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 (Wendell Cruz)
(Wendell Cruz)

Knicks C Enes Kanter has been comfortable in his first games with New York.

Kanter, who came over in the Carmelo Anthony trade, wasn't supposed to start for the Knicks upon his arrival. He was set to compete with Willy Hernangomez, who had a year under his belt with the Knicks' offense. But Kanter wasn't worried about minutes as long as the team was winning at the end of the day. 

"I mean, we win, I'm good," Kanter told NorthJersey.com's Steve Popper. "We win, I'll play one minute, I'll play 48 minutes. if we win I'm good. That's what really matters. I think that's what everybody is playing for, just going out there and winning. That should be everybody's task. If we win we're good."

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