Enes Kanter made it official, opting into $18.6 million with Knicks

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Nobody sober really thought Enes Kanter was going to opt out of the last year of his deal. Despite what he said. That money was never going to be out there for him in the tight open market.

Still, when reports started coming out he was opting in, Kanter pushed back a little.

Then he opted in, like we all expected.

Kanter detailed that — and that he took a $20 million insurance policy out on himself — speaking to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

“I’ve seen all the fans’ reaction; of course, the Knicks, the city and everything,” he told The Athletic. “I think it was the right choice because also this market is terrible. Just wait and play. See what can happen next year.”

Kanter had hoped to sign a long-term deal but said if any talks were had they would have been between Bartelstein and the Knicks front office, not him. To mitigate the risk of playing a year without any certainty going forward, Kanter told The Athletic that he took out an insurance policy that would pay him $20 million in case he suffered a career-ending injury.

Kanter has good offensive value on the court, giving the Knicks 14.1 points and 11 rebounds a game last season. He’s a beast on the glass. His defense has improved… but it’s still not good. He is the kind of big who is still going to get played off the court at the end of games and in the postseason because of his defense.

However, with Kristaps Porzingis likely out for most if not all of next season, the Knicks will need what Kanter brings.