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Kanter picks Blazers over Lakers, other suitors

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Kanter picks Blazers over Lakers, other suitors
5:23 PM ET

  • Adrian WojnarowskiESPN

Free-agent center Enes Kanter has signed a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, he said Wednesday.

Kanter made the news official in a post on Twitter, saying he looks forward “to helping the Blazers achieve the ultimate goal of competing for a championship.”

#RipCity⁠ ⁠ pic.twitter.com/4dTLXyZedg

— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) February 13, 2019

The Blazers were Kanter’s choice over several serious suitors, including the Los Angeles Lakers, sources said.

The Knicks waived Kanter, 26, at the trade deadline last Thursday.

Kanter will play significant minutes at center behind Jusuf Nurkic as Portland builds its roster for the postseason. The Blazers are 33-23, tied with the Houston Rockets for fourth in the Western Conference entering Wednesday’s games.

The Blazers signed Kanter as a restricted free agent to a four-year, $70 million offer sheet in 2015. The Oklahoma City Thunder matched the sheet, retaining Kanter before eventually trading him to the Knicks as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal in 2017.

New York had talked to teams about potential trades of Kanter prior to the deadline, but his $18.6 million expiring contract proved too difficult to move.

Kanter’s role with the Knicks had decreased in the weeks leading up to the deadline, which led him to express displeasure over his limited role.

Kanter averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds — tied for 12th in the league — in just 25.6 minutes per game this season for the Knicks. He appeared in 44 games.

In eight seasons with Utah, Oklahoma City and New York, Kanter has averaged 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds.

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