The Oklahoma City Thunder is actively trying to move center Enes Kanter in an attempt to clear cap room to sign free agent Al Horford, according to a source close to the team.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Thunder intend to re-unite the former Florida Gators pairing of coach Billy Donovan and Horford, who won two national titles together in the mid 2000s.
“Over the past several days, the Thunder have sought out teams with open salary-cap space to possibly absorb Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler, sources said. The Thunder have other methods of opening cap space, including waiving Anthony Morrow, whose contract isn’t guaranteed until July 15,” Windhorst reported on Thursday.
According to another source, Thunder feel they will heighten their chances of retaining Kevin Durant by acquiring Horford, who is reportedly close friends with the former MVP. Horford has drawn a ton of interest in free agency, with scheduled meetings against Atlanta Hawks (incumbent team) and Boston Celtics over the weekend.
Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler out of OKC?
Oklahoma will need to move at least Kanter and Singler to clear cap room for Horford, who is expected to warrant a four-year max contract in the proximity of $120 million.
Windhorst also reported that Thunder general manager Sam Presti is making moves in the offseason with the sole purpose of retaining Durant. “In conversations with rival teams, the Thunder have indicated they will know which route they are taking early in July, sources said. Durant is scheduled to meet with five teams over the first three days of free agency after meeting with the Thunder on Thursday.”
Last summer, Enes Kanter agreed to a four-year $70 million contract to stay with OKC after being trade by the Utah Jazz prior to last year’s trade deadline. Since Thunder own Kanter’s Bird Rights, they will be able to go over the cap to acquire other pieces but won’t be able to accommodate Al Horford’s massive contract without moving him.
Where will Enes Kanter play next season? Will a team step up and absorb his contract?