Match Game: Thunder Match Blazers, Will Re-Sign Enes Kanter
The Oklahoma City Thunder took it down to the final day, but OKC has matched Portland’s offer sheet to center Enes Kanter and will re-sign the four-year pro from Turkey.
The Thunder issued a statement Sunday, July 12, saying they have excercised their right of first refusal, and have matched the offer sheet Kanter signed on Thursday
The offer sheet was for a maximum contract, reportedly a four year deal worth $70 million.
Yahoo! Sports reported the Thunder had offered Kanter a deal for around $62 million, but expected he would be offered a maximum contract, and were prepared all along to match it.
The Thunder had three days to match the offer sheet, with Sunday the final day they could do it.
The re-signing of Kanter means the Thunder will be over the salary cap for next season and will have to pay a luxury tax.
The salary cap, however, is expected to rise greatly for the 2016-17 season, and because of that, the Thunder should be able to stay under the salary cap for that season.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti was quoted in the team’s statement:
“We traded for Enes last season with the intention of keeping him as a member of the Thunder for several years to come, and we are excited that he will continue with us,” said Presti. “He adds valuable depth to our roster, diversity to our frontcourt and the dimension that he brings offensively will positively impact our team.”
Kanter tweeted the following on Sunday evening, July 12:
Translation: The Turkish flag represents his nationality, the lightning bolt represents Thunder, a thumb pointing up, meaning “Thunder Up”, and a trophy representing winning an NBA title.
In short, Kanter is happy, and ready to help the Thunder win an NBA championship.
Kanter came to the Thunder in a trade from Utah in February and played 26 games for OKC, averaging 18.7 points and 11 rebounds a game.