Knicks center Enes Kanter denied a report on Sunday that indicated he was expected to opt out of his $18.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season, he told Taylor Rooks.
MSG Network's Lenn Robbins reported that Kanter, who played one season with New York and had said multiple times he wanted to retire a Knick, was expected to opt out.
But Kanter told Rooks he has yet to make a decision. ESPN's Ian Begley reported other teams were expecting Kanter, 26, to opt into the final year of his four-year, $70 million contract. Should Kanter opt out and become a free agent, the Milwaukee Bucks, according to Begley, would be among the teams interested in signing Kanter.
Kanter, who has previously expressed his desire to remain a Knick, averaged 14.1 points and 11 rebounds in 71 games in his first season with New York after being included in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
"I said it before, I said it before the trade deadline, that's where I want to be," Kanter said in February. "That's where I want to retire. I hope I'll stay here for a long time."
Kanter had said in the past he has a strong relationship with GM Scott Perry and president Steve Mills, saying they "are just making sure you got everything you need so you can just focus on basketball." He has also been trying to recruit free agent-to-be Lebron James to the Knicks in an effort to make him "prove" he is the "King of New York."
A former No. 3 pick, Kanter signed a four-year, $70 million deal with the Thunder prior to the 2015-16 season, the fourth year a player option. The veteran center has averaged 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds since entering the league in 2011 with the Utah Jazz.