In case you haven't been following the NBA closely—or somehow managed to pull yourself away from Woj's Twitter page for a few minutes—the Blazers have had an unusually productive start to free agency.
First, they traded Evan Turner to Atlanta in exchange for swingman Kent Bazemore. Then, the team re-signed backup guard Rodney Hood, whose midseason acquisition ended up paying dividends during Portland's improbable run to the Western Conference Finals, and added forward Mario Hezonja, who is, y'know, another guy who plays basketball.
The biggest bomb, however, dropped this morning, as the team traded Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard (finally) to Miami for center Hassan Whiteside—a move that was met with mixed reviews from analysts and fans.
Overall, though, it's been a solid start to the offseason for a team whose inertness has frustrated fans the past few summers.
But it wouldn't be a Blazers offseason without some kind of front office screw-up. In this instance, though, it's more bad optics than bad business.
Enes Kanter, who, like Hood, joined the team in the middle of the season and later took on a major role after starting center Jusuf Nurkić suffered a season-ending leg injury, has left to join the Boston Celtics. That's not really surprising—it was always presumed that Kanter would only be a half-season rental for Portland, and after Hood re-signed, the likelihood of bring him back decreased even more.
But apparently, the Blazers did have a shot at re-signing Kanter—they just didn't give him enough time to make the decision.
In a text sent to ESPN reporter Marc Spears, the Turkish big man alleges the team gave him an extremely narrow window in which to consider and accept their offer—six minutes, to be exact.
For context, Kanter is an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and acolyte of exiled Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen. His opposition to Erdogan, and support of Gulen, has gotten Kanter labeled a terrorist by the Turkish government, alienating him from his family back home.
It's possible Kanter is over-exaggerating the situation here—it's hard to imagine he wouldn't have some advance warning of the contract he was about to be offered. Still, not the best look for the organization, especially after Kanter played much of the playoffs with a separated shoulder.
Update: Damian Lillard has chimed in on Twitter, casting doubt on Kanter's version of events.
Asked to comment on Kanter's claim, Blazers spokesperson Collin Romer declined, saying, "We cannot comment on free agents or reported transactions during the moratorium period."
For his part, Kanter eventually posted a video message thanking the franchise and fans—and Senator Ron Wyden, who advocated for Kanter with the White House and on the floor of Congress during his time in Portland.