In trying to find a new home for Enes Kanter, among the scenarios recently discussed — though only in a preliminary stage — was the Knicks bringing back Chicago’s Jabari Parker, a source told the Daily News.
However, a snag in the framework was trying to find a third team to take Kanter, the source said, and it’s unclear if talks ever got off the ground. The Kings could still be an option for that third team and, according to sources, have been separately negotiating a straight swap for Kanter. One scenario is Kanter for Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos.
As the Daily News reported, the Knicks would need a “sweetener” to make such a trade work with the Kings, such as a second-round pick.
Whether Parker fits that “sweetener” description is unclear, but ESPN reported in December the Knicks expressed interest in dealing for the 23-year-old.
Parker, a former second overall pick, has been cut from the Bulls rotation after signing a two-year, $40 million deal in the summer. His second year is a team option, and it’s almost guaranteed he’ll be a free agent in the summer. Parker played well in Saturday’s loss to the Jazz, but it was his first appearance in three games and he’s expected to return to the bench once Bobby Portis (elbow) is healthy.
Kanter, who is on an $18 million expiring contract, did not play in Sunday’s 108-105 loss to the Sixers because of an illness. It was his second straight missed game, and the absence began last week after Kanter posted a video of himself preparing to eat seven hamburgers on his ‘cheat day.’
“The eating thing is, I think that’s him just messing with y’all,” coach David Fizdale said. “He really has some flu-like symptoms. It’s been kicking his butt.”
Kanter will also miss the Knicks’ next game in London on Thursday due to security concerns. The Turkish center is outspoken against his country’s president and, as a result, had his passport revoked and has a warrant out for his arrest. Kanter said there’s a real threat of Turkish spies murdering him in Europe.