It’s one of the oldest sales tactics in the books: “Limited time offer, if you don’t agree in the next five minutes this deal goes away.” Scarcity — real or made up — is an effective way to get some people to sign up.
Not Enes Kanter.
After a strong playoff run in Portland where Kanter played through a separated shoulder and helped the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals, Portland fans and management hoped to see Kanter return. Instead, Kanter signed a two-year, $10 million contract in Boston. Portland traded for Hassan Whiteside instead to fill in minutes until Jusuf Nurkic‘s return.
Then, not long after Kanter signed with the Celtics, he sent this text to Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated.
Kanter has a reputation for liking to tell stories, and Damian Lillard responded on his Twitter account that it was more like 45 minutes.
The most likely scenario: Portland had the Miami trade for Whiteside on hold, but it was part of the larger four-team Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade, so the Trail Blazers couldn’t keep everyone waiting forever. So they gave Kanter a deadline.
Lillard also admits the key here for Kanter: 45 minutes is still not that much time to make a major life decision, such as where you’re going to live and work for a couple of years. Kanter wanted to talk to family and think it over, and in his case talking to family is a lot more complicated because of his status in his native Turkey. So Kanter pushed back on the deadline.
Portland went with the Whiteside trade, Kanter landed on his feet just fine with the Celtics.
And we learned limited time offers don’t really work on Kanter.