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REPORT: Blazers re-acquire Enes Kanter in 3-team trade with Celtics, Grizzlies

Enes Kanter, Mario Hezonja, Celtics, Grizzlies, Blazers, NBA trade

After exercising his player option with the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Enes Kanter is reportedly on the move to the Portland Trail Blazers in a three-team deal including the Memphis Grizzlies, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Kanter reunites with his former team that he left for the Celtics in 2019.

The Celtics and Memphis had previously came to terms on a deal centered around the 30th pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, which transformed into TCU wing Desmond Bane. The deal wasn’t completely submitted at the time, with Kanter now joining the package.

Memphis also will acquire Mario Hezonja from the Trail Blazers as part of the deal. The four-year forward saw a drop in productivity with Portland last season and could be looking to revitalize his career in Memphis with more playing time. He only averaged 16.4 minutes of playing time last season, about four minutes shy of his playing time with the New York Knicks.

With the Celtics likely looking to shed down their bigs rotation to only Daniel Theis and Robert Williams, Kanter became the odd man out in the deal. He didn’t show much promise during his lone year with the Celtics, and his playing time began to diminish after Williams returned from injury. Kanter opted into his $5 million player option on Thursday, but now gives the Celtics a bit more cap space ahead of free agency. The Turkish big man averaged 8.1 points along with grabbing 7.4 boards with Boston.

Portland likely made the move to acquire Enes Kanter with the inevitability of moving on from Hassan Whiteside on the horizon. Whiteside is set to be a free agent and could command a heavier contract than what the Trail Blazers are willing to give up.