Utah Jazz: Frustrated Enes Kanter said he hopes to be traded before deadline

First Published      Last Updated Apr 23 2017 10:30 pm

Jazz » Center has been frustrated by role this season.

Dallas • Frustrated by his role during his three-plus years in Utah, center Enes Kanter told The Salt Lake Tribune he hopes to be traded before this year's deadline.

Kanter expressed his frustration after Wednesday's 87-82 loss to the Mavericks, a game in which Kanter left with an eye injury and did not play in the fourth quarter despite his claim that he was healthy enough to play.

"It was not my eye at all. I don't know what it was, but it was not my eye at all. So we'll see what's going to happen," Kanter said after the game, declining to elaborate further.

The 22-year-old big man was hit in the face by Dallas' Al-Farouq Aminu late in the second quarter. Kanter held his face as he checked out at the 1:25 mark and did not play in the fourth quarter. He played just over 18 minutes Wednesday, recording six points and 10 rebounds.

But for the third-overall pick in the 2011 draft, the frustrations are about more than one night. Kanter grew tired of empty promises of playing time during his time under Tyrone Corbin and remains frustrated by the inconsistency of his role.

The Jazz and coach Quin Snyder have tried to balance time among their four primary big men — Kanter, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert and Trevor Booker. Snyder has admitted in the past that it has been hard to find time in some games for all four, and said matchups and performance would dictate who got minutes most nights.

In a text message late Wednesday, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey declined to comment on the situation.

Kanter made his frustrations known Wednesday as players headed their separate ways for the extended All-Star break. The NBA's trade deadline is Feb. 19.

Kanter is an offensively talented big man averaging 14 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, though his defense has been called into question throughout his career.

The 6-foot-10 Turk played 13 minutes per game his rookie season, 15 as a sophomore and 26 last season. His 27.3 minutes per game are a career high, but the nightly inconsistencies have been a source of frustration for the fourth-year player.

Kanter will be a restricted free agent this summer after he and the Jazz failed to reach a deal to extend him before the season. That could make it difficult to move him should the Jazz opt to go that route. A team interested in Kanter would have to give up assets while simultaneously assuming the risk and uncertainty involving the big man's future salary.

Kanter could be a relative value. Or, with one offer sheet, he could leave that trade partner left to match a sizable deal or letting him walk.



Mavericks 87, Jazz 82: Utah struggles offensively in first quarter, then misses a chance to tie the game in final seconds of fourth quarter. › C6