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Enes Kanter leaning toward opting out, wants to stay in New York long-term

Enes Kanter

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter is likely to opt out of his current $18.6 million player-option in hopes of a long-term deal, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

The Turkish international expressed his desire to remain in The Big Apple, but will command more compensation for his services after having a career-year with the Knicks.

“After you play for New York, you really don’t want to go play for anyone else,” said Kanter, according to Adam Zagoria of The New York Times. “I want to stay here for sure.”

Kanter averaged 14.1 points, set a career-high with 11 rebounds per game, along with shooting a swift 84.8 percent from the foul line through 71 games this season.

His services will be at a premium as one of the best offensive rebounding commodities in the league, ranking fourth in the NBA with 3.9 offensive boards per game.

The 6-foot-11 big man doesn’t offer much defensively, but his tenacity on the glass and ability to score without the need of drawing plays for him has proved to be a huge asset.

Wanting more than $18.6 million per year will present an issue for the Knicks, who are intent on signing big free agents this season — a move that could be easily impeded by a hefty multi-year contract.

Only time will tell if the front office has learned its lessons from the clogging contracts of Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah — yet to see if they can proceed with caution and make the right decision for the franchise.