New York Knicks center Enes Kanter has revealed meeting with general manager Scott Perry to discuss his role in the team but claims he did not ask to be traded.
The sit-down took place on Monday, with the Turkish star looking to discuss his diminished role amid the team's losing skid. However, he insists that he enjoys playing in New York and isn't keen on leaving.
"I did not say, 'Scott, trade me.' No I did not say that," Kanter said to reporters after the Knicks' loss to the Denver Nuggets earlier this week, per ESPN. "Because I like it here a lot. And I probably won't say to Scott's face, 'Scott I want to get traded.' Because I like it here a lot.
"But again, in the end, we all are competitors, basketball players. I like it here so much, but again I want to win. I want this team to get to the playoffs one day. This is my blood, man. ... I'm going out there to get a win every time."
The 26-year-old scored 17 points and hauled 10 rebounds in just 20 minutes against Denver, but he had been out of the team's starting lineup for a few games and would speak publicly about his growing frustrations with the lesser role.
"I don't understand," he said on Saturday. "This is too early in the season to shut me down. My goal is to go out there and try to be an All-Star this year. That was my goal. But now, look at the situation."
The 9-29 Knicks have lost eight straight games and have only won two of their last 17. Kanter claims he's more upset about losing than he is about playing less.
"All this anger and frustration is coming from losing," he added on Tuesday. "It's not fun to lose 12, 13, whatever in a row. It's not fun. It's just tough, man. But obviously I had a meeting with Scott [Monday]. We talked about -- he just said, 'You know, this is the growth. This is one of your biggest tests in your career, so just try to be a good teammate.'
"I even asked Scott, 'Scott, if you were in my situation, what would you do? He said, 'The whole league knows you. Right now, we know that you are a very, very good basketball player.
"Now I want you to go out there and try to have that good character, try to be a good teammate and try to help all the people.' I understand we're not winning a lot right now. But I guess it's all for the young guys.
"That's what I've been trying to do. Just help the young guys and try to be the best teammate you can be. So that's what I'm trying to do. This organization is paying me. I don't want no free money. So every time I'm out there I'm going to try to get a win.
"[It's] just it's a little weird, people are calling me from all over the league. They're just saying, 'Keep your head up and stay strong.' Even my own teammates are texting me and telling me just stay strong and keep your head up. I know what I'm capable of. I know this is the situation so I'm just sucking it up and trying to be a good teammate."
What This Means
Kanter is in the final year of his contract with the Knicks and is making $18 million this season. The team would need to find an available player with a matching salary if they wish to trade him but they aren't looking to sign someone who is under contract for next term, given that they're looking to transition.
The former Oklahoma City Thunder center seems to have become an expendable player amid their ambitions but he is also their second-highest scorer this season, with an average of 14.4 points per game, behind Tim Hardaway Jr.
Whether they trade him or not is left to be seen. But, were it left to Kanter, he'd probably stick around.