Enes Kanter Exercises $18.6 Million Contract Option to Remain with Knicks

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JANUARY 19: Enes Kanter #00 of the New York Knicks shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz  on January 19, 2018 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

Enes Kanter is committing to at least one more season in the Big Apple. 

Kanter tweeted a image suggesting he is sticking with the Knicks for the 2018-19 season:

Enes Kanter @Enes_Kanter

#MakeKnicksGreatAgain 😂 https://t.co/CrliNB4hb1

ESPN New York's Ian Begley later confirmed the news with Kanter's manager, Hank Fetic.

Earlier on Friday, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports had reported Kanter decided to exercise his $18.6 million player option for next season despite previously hinting that he would opt out and pursue a new long-term deal with the New York Knicks. Kanter was quick to deny the report on Twitter.

Kanter arrived in New York as part of the Carmelo Anthony blockbuster last September, and he took to the city immediately. In fact, Kanter grew so comfortable with the Knicks that he went public with his desire to stay with the franchise for the remainder of his career. 

"I remember maybe it was my second month here. I was thinking, 'This place is so cool, I want to retire here,'" he told Begley. "I remember one of the media guys was asking me, 'Is it too early to decide because you've been here for not even a half season? Why did you want to decide that you wanted to retire as a Knick?' I was like, 'This is the place I want to be.'"

A walking double-double, Kanter averaged 14.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while shooting 59.2 percent from the field during his first season with the Knicks. Dwight Howard was the only other player to meet those benchmarks on a nightly basis last season. 

Kanter still has plenty of defensive deficiencies—the Knicks allowed 110.7 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, according to NBA.com—but his low-post reliability on the other end will give new head coach David Fizdale a frontcourt pillar with Kristaps Porzingis recovering from a torn ACL.