The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to lure free agent center Enes Kanter from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kanter signed a four-year, $70 million maximum offer sheet with the Blazers on Thursday and the Thunder have three days to decide if they want to match the contract.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports first reported the signing and stated that the Thunder were widely expected to match any offer sheet to retain Kanter. However, matching the max deal offered by Portland -- which rounds off to about $17.5 million per season -- would put the Thunder over the luxury tax threshold for the 2015-16 season.
The 23-year-old Kanter was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, for which he played in his first four seasons in the league. He was traded to the Thunder in February and was part of the team's front-court rotation the rest of the 2014-15 season. In 49 games for the Thunder, he averaged 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds.
If Portland ultimately acquires Kanter, it is likely to start him at center following the departures of Robin Lopez, who signed with the New York Knicks, and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who joined the San Antonio Spurs.
Oklahoma City still has big men Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams and Mitch McGary in the frontcourt rotation, but will have to decide if Kanter is worth a max contract.