As the dust settles from the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, most of the talk has been about how the former New York Knicks star has created a three-headed monster for the Western Conference club alongside reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and four-time All-Star Paul George.
Rightfully so. The Thunder have just dealt their way into contention within the loaded Western Conference that will likely be dominated by the Golden State Warriors once again. But the Houston Rockets' acquisition of Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers to join forces with James Harden has added another threat to Golden State's throne.
For those involved in New York basketball though, we are left to wonder just how good the return of Anthony is. The Knicks acquired big man Enes Kanter and small forward Doug McDermott from Oklahoma City along with a 2018 second-round pick that formerly belonged to the Chicago Bulls.
Coming over from Turkey at just 19 years old, Kanter was drafted third overall by the Utah Jazz in 2011.
As he matured and assimilated to the NBA game, the 6'11" center developed into a solid low-post scorer that provided a solid mid-range game as well.
Once the Jazz drafted Rudy Gobert and it became clear that he was the future of the team, Kanter became expendable and was shipped to Oklahoma City during the 2014-15 season.
In the final 26 games of that season, he recorded career highs with 18.7 points and 11 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game. But those numbers didn't last long as he began platooning with Steven Adams at the center position, starting just one game over the last two seasons.
Still, he provided an offensive alternative to the defensive-minded Adams. In his three seasons with the Thunder, Kanter averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while making 53 percent of his shots.
What is troubling is his defensive record. In each of his first seven seasons, he's had a negative Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating (DBPM).
On a Knicks team that's had problems stopping opposing offenses, Kanter will have to prove his defensive worth in order to win the starting job and get consistent minutes.
For McDermott, life in the NBA hasn't been easy.
The NCAA's No. 5 all-time scorer, the Creighton alumnus hasn't started more than five games in a season since his pro debut in 2014. Much of that had to do with playing teams that featured Jimmy Butler during his time with the Chicago Bulls, a team he spent the first two-plus years with before being dealt to the Thunder last season.
One can't deny McDermott's ability to shoot from long distance, though. The 25-year-old's career average from three-point range is hovering near 40 percent, which could be a nice way to spread out the Knicks' offense this season.