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China’s Puppet: Chinese Media Gloats About Its Influence On NBA After Enis Kanter Freedom Is Cut By Houston Rockets

Kanter’s playing time with the Celtics and being cut after being traded to the Rockets is all about politics

Turkish NBA player Enes Kanter speaks at National Basketball Players Association headquarters in New York, May 2017. - (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)


Enes Kanter Freedom was traded by the Boston Celtics to the Houston Rockets at the trading deadline on Thursday, and then promptly cut by the Rockets.

The four-player deal made some sense for the Celtics, who are stalled and in need of retooling and were trying to clear salary-cap space. Kanter Freedom played in every game for the Portland Trailblazers last season after getting little playing time in his previous tenure with the Celtics, and this time was no different: He was used in just 25 of 53 games, and just 11.7 minutes a game. With so little playing time, his scoring opportunities were few: The center, who averaged 19.9 points per 36 minutes over the prior seven seasons, was averaging just 11.2 points per 36 minutes.


Still, the Celtics abandoned their best rebounder and the only guy on the roster over 6’9″. It is harder to see a non-salary-cap basketball justification for the Rockets, who have the worst record in the Western Conference, although their center is their best player and they are likely more interested in landing a high draft pick than in winning games right now.

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