Breaking News
More () »

Report: Enes Kanter returning to Portland in trade

The Blazers will send Mario Hezonja to the Grizzlies in a three-way trade that brings Boston center Enes Kanter back to Portland.
Credit: David Zalubowski
Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter is walked away from a scrum by guards CJ McCollum, center, and Damian Lillard, right, late in the second half of Game 2 of the team's NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Denver. Portland won 97-90.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers made their second trade of the week on Friday, acquiring center Enes Kanter from the Boston Celtics in a three-way trade that sends forward Mario Hezonja to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The trade was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Kanter's $5 million contract will be absorbed into Portland's $7 million trade exception that was created in last season's Kent Bazemore trade.

Kanter returns to Portland after a successful stretch with the Blazers in 2019 when he helped the team reach the Western Conference finals. Shortly after the trade was reported, Kanter tweeted "Home Sweet Home" with a red heart and black heart.

In 23 games that season, Kanter averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game. He took on a larger role for the team after starting center Jusuf Nurkic was injured late in the regular season. In the playoffs, Kanter averaged 11.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game.

Kanter left Portland after that season and signed with Boston. He averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in 16.9 minutes last season as a backup center with the Celtics.

In Portland, Kanter should slot in as a primary reserve backing up Nurkic.

Over a nine-year career, Kanter has averaged 11.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game. He's an efficient scorer, shooting 54.3% from the field for his career.

Earlier this week, the Blazers acquired forward Robert Covington in a trade with the Houston Rockets and on Wednesday, Portland drafted former Washington State forward C.J. Elleby.