DALLAS — Moments after the Utah Jazz lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, Enes Kanter gave Jeremy Evans a big hug and told Derrick Favors he’d see him again.
If Kanter gets his wish, it just won’t be as teammates.
The 22-year-old forward/center relayed a message to Utah media in the locker room — first to The Salt Lake Tribune and then to the Deseret News — that he hopes to be traded before the Feb. 19 deadline.
Kanter, who only played 18 minutes in the Jazz’s 87-82 loss, was too frustrated to go into details about his decision to come public with this news.
It’s not new news to the Jazz, by the way.
Kanter’s agent, fellow Turk Max Ergul, has been trying to get the 6-foot-11 big man traded from Utah for years, according to a source with knowledge on the subject.
Kanter's camp has “really turned up the heat” on Jazz management for a trade in recent weeks, the source added.
Not surprisingly, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey responded with a “No comment.”
Also, Ergul denied to the Deseret News that he’s been trying to get the Jazz to trade Kanter for years.
Either way, Kanter’s camp has never been pleased with the way the third pick of the 2011 draft has been used by the Jazz, and frustrations have only increased despite a welcomed coaching change.
One big problem for Kanter, who hopes to be traded, is that there has been little to no interest from other teams, the Deseret News has been told.
Earlier in his career, Kanter was in a tough position because the Jazz had veteran bigs Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap ahead of him in the rotation. This season, second-year center Rudy Gobert and veteran Trevor Booker have received playing time in a four-man frontcourt rotation, which also includes starting center Derrick Favors.
Kanter is averaging career-bests in points (14.0 ppg) and rebounds (7.8 ppg). But he’s averaging less than one minute per game more than last year (27.3, up from 26.7).
Kanter finished with six points and 10 rebounds in his 18-minute outing in Wednesday’s loss to Dallas.
He did not return after being hit in the face and leaving the game holding his eye in the second half.
“I don't know what it was, but it was not my eye at all,” he said. “So we'll see what's going to happen.”