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.
But is Fizdale's addition enough to keep Kanter in New York next season? He noted he wants to know had badly the Knicks want him back, and with his agent Mark Bartelstein telling him about five teams are interested in his services next season, they must show him soon.
Kanter said he will wait until the Friday deadline to make his decision on either staying with his $18.6 million next season, or finding a new team.
"I'm going to make the decision on the last day," he said. "I want to take time and see what everyone else is doing. I want to stay with the Knicks. They have great fans, team, organization, people. I would love to stay here.
"But my agent is telling me there could be four, five teams. My thing is, if I can, I'd just want to stay with the Knicks. I played here last year and I love it, loved the people here. It's not just about the money. It's about the whole organization. But that's the decision I'm going to make the last day."
If Kanter decides to stay, he already knows what his new head coach is going to want from him on the floor this year.
"[Fizdale] told me he wants me to stretch the floor next year by making 3's and I'm working on it," Kanter said. "I feel more comfortable taking them and more confident. Coach Fiz wants me to start taking them. If my coach says take them, I'm not going to say no. I'll start shooting them in practice and then in the game."
In 71 games last season, Kanter averaged a double-double with 14.1 points and 11 rebounds per game, which was his best full season so far in his career. He has found success in New York, which is why he is giving the Knicks priority in his decision.
"I want to be with the Knicks, but I don't know what's going to happen on the last day," Kanter said. "Teams are calling. I want to hear what the Knicks want to do first. If they say you're free to walk away, I may just talk to other teams. But it's Knicks first."