NBA: Portland Trail Blazers sign Enes Kanter from New York Knicks to boost Western Conference playoff bid

Los Angeles: The Portland Trail Blazers gave their Western Conference playoff push a boost by signing veteran centre Enes Kanter on Wednesday.

File image of Enes Kanter. Reuters

File image of Enes Kanter. Reuters

The 26-year-old Turkish big man became available after being waived by the New York Knicks at the NBA trading deadline last Thursday.

"I look forward to helping the Blazers achieve the ultimate goal of competing for a championship," Kanter wrote on his social media Twitter feed. "Excited to meet my new teammates, coaches, staff and most importantly the fans.

"It is a blessing to continue to compete at the highest level! Let’s go Rip City."

The Blazers are 33-23 on the season and tied with the Houston Rockets for fourth spot in the Western Conference standings and Kanter is expected to bring much needed rebounding and playoff experience to the roster.

Kanter chose Portland over the Los Angeles Lakers and several other teams.

Kanter, who was born in Switzerland but is a Turkish citizen, has been openly critical of the Turkish government. He did not travel with the New York Knicks to London for a game in January because he said he feared for his safety.

Kanter averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds in 44 games this season for the Knicks.

In eight seasons with Utah, Oklahoma City and New York, Kanter has averaged 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds.

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Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 13:40:03 IST

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