Amid the Knicks' struggles this season, C Enes Kanter has been putting up career numbers. That is why him opting out of his current deal may not be that far of a stretch after the season.
Kanter is set to make $18.6 million next season if he stays with the Knicks before hitting free agency in 2019. But after tallying a career-high 32 double-doubles this season while averaging 14.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. He is also shooting a career-best 60.3 percent from the field in 25.9 minutes per game.
So, the Turkish big man has a big decision to make in the offseason. But he says he'll focus on the rest of the season first before addressing his own situation.
"Right now we have 18 games left," Kanter told The Post's Marc Berman before Tuesday's matchup against the Trail Blazers. "If I talk and think about my options and opt-out, contract and money, I'd be a little selfish. My thing now is finish the 18 games as best we can, then start thinking about it."
Kanter noted he also needs a new agent, having used a Turkish agent in the past.
The Knicks do, however, expect Kanter to stay in New York next season as he has come to love the city and its fans.
"I like the culture, the fans, the city, the atmosphere," Kanter said. "Like Madison Square Garden, the people, the organization, the writers. Do you want me to continue?"
Knicks wants him to continue his production, but Kanter doesn't focus on his stats.
"I don't follow my stats because I don't want to worry about that," he said. "I don't look at it until the end of the season. I heard about it, but the team hasn't won so it really doesn't matter. You can always do better and add to the team. But it is one of my best seasons."
Kanter was the pickup from the Thunder in the Carmelo Anthony deal, and that has obviously played out as planned. If there's anything to improve on, Hornacek wants Kanter to be more of a vocal leader.
"Enes is not a big talker,'' Hornacek said. "He's the example guy and goes out there and plays hard as he can. I love when he gets in, posts and knocks someone around and gives us the muscles. Guys get a kick out of it. He tries to do it by example. We need him to talk more [on the court]. He's a center and got to be involved in a lot of things. He's getting better.''
As the offseason looms closer as each game goes by, Kanter's time in New York could be diminishing. For now, he'll continue to play for the name on his jersey at the moment.
"Doesn't matter what the record is," Kanter said. "The team is paying you. You got to go out there and earn that money. Everyone's watching you. It's important to play hard because you're carrying the New York name on your jersey. You have to play for that."