The Trail Blazers made waves after the NBA Trade Deadline by bolstering their bench by signing Enes Kanter. The former Knicks big man was lost in the shuffle on a tanking Knicks squad and his penchant for instant offense projected to be a natural fit inside Head Coach Terry Stotts’ rotation.
Through 12 games with the Blazers, the results have been mixed for Kanter. Defensive lapses and concerns over ball movement garnered attention from Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni. When assessing the buyout players that are least likely to impact the action in the final weeks of the season, Nadkarni examined Kanter’s fit in Portland through 10 games.
He’s certainly a talented scorer, but Portland’s offensive rating craters to 98.6 when Kanter plays. (Pace and efficiency take big hits as well.) He has always been skilled at getting his own buckets, but not necessarily to the benefit of his team. Even more troubling is Portland has stunk when Kanter has shared the floor with Dame Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Combine that with unreliable defense, and Kanter could end up actively hurting Portland if Terry Stotts doesn’t have a quick hook come playoff time.
In the two games after Nadkarni’s post, Kanter produced 17 points against the Pelicans and failed to register a point in Saturday’s loss to the Spurs. Fellow big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bogut joined Kanter inside SI’s article.
You can read Nadkarni’s full post by visiting Sports Illustrated.