Late, breaking news tonight as both Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune and Jody Genessy of the Deseret News are reporting that Enes Kanter and his agent, Max Ergul, are hoping to force a trade before the season resumes after the All-star break. What a night cap on a harsh loss in Dallas. From Genessy and Falk:
Enes Kanter's agent Max Ergul has been asking for a trade for years and has turned up the heat on Jazz management lately, per sources.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) February 12, 2015
Enes Kanter was too "frustrated" to speak to reporters in the locker room other than to say his eye wasn't the reason he didn't return.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) February 12, 2015
Enes Kanter isn't returning to Utah on the Jazz charter. He's headed to Pennsylvania to hang out with friends.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) February 12, 2015
Kanter was clearly frustrated about his minutes tonight, but this is something that has been brewing for much longer than that.— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) February 12, 2015
Broached the subject with him a few times and he'd hinted that he might want to discuss things later. Tonight he made his feelings known.— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) February 12, 2015
Still, for the 22-year-old, the issue is about much 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 with the team.
Interesting that he feels that way about this season. He's fourth on the team in minutes and just 100 minutes or so behind Derrick Favors. Is he feeling pressured by Rudy Gobert's emergence? I don't get why he feels his role is inconsistent.
Interesting timing by Kanter's agent. No doubt the Jazz have had discussions with other teams about Kanter, so why leak this information now? It does nothing to help their case. It might not end up hurting things in the long run, but it certainly doesn't help.
It does force the hand of the Jazz front office though. They've likely leaned one way or the other as to whether they want to keep Kanter this summer. If they were inclined to let him walk, certainly it makes sense to trade him for assets now. This isn't the same case with Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and other recent vets. They wanted that cap space for the rebuild and to be able to take on salaries.
Now? They're trying to build a team that can make the playoffs. They're not going to let a huge piece of that go in Kanter without getting something back.
For all that Kanter lacks on defense right now, teams will pay for a young player that can score. He will get an offer this summer for eight figures.
Rumors of Kanter not wanting to be in Utah have existed since the Chicago pre-draft workouts. It looks like now that there was some truth to all of that.
It's too bad. If he was going to be traded, then fine. But if he is traded, I hate seeing him go out like this.