We know Enes Kanter is out injured for the next six weeks or so and that could very well keep the Thunder from getting a more-favorable seed for the upcoming playoffs. We can only wait and see about that.
In the meantime, here are three things to look forward to while Kanter is out:
1. More Tweeting!
You’ve followed Kanter via social media since he signed with OKC and you’ve yet to be disappointed. He’s been funny, been sarcastic, even been political (if you’ve seen his stuff this past week). Heck, he’s even come after Kevin Durant, which undoubtedly won him even more fans. There’s there’s no reason to think things will change, either. Heck, things could get even social-media-y, better, right? After all, Kanter has even more time on his hands, despite one of his arms being broken. Perhaps this will be a way to strengthen up those Twitter fingers, too.
Already, Kanter has tweeted, jokingly, about the danger of folding chairs after North Carolina coach Roy Williams went after a chair in the same sort of manner Kanter did. See, that’s funny, right? Well, sorta funny unless you start thinking about the Thunder possibly free-falling in the standings.
In the meantime don’t forget to “Like” and “Re-tweet” all of Kanter’s funny posts. If you don’t, he may stop tweeting. Well, probably not.
2. More Kyle Singler!
If you’re in the group of – ever-growing – folks who wants to be rid of Thunder forward Kyle Singler, well, the Kanter injury may just be your tonic.
Kanter being hurt means his minutes have to go somewhere and to someone. Right now, Anthony Morrow isn’t playing much and neither is Singler. But that could change. You have to figure the Thunder aren’t going to sit still as the trade deadline approaches and now with Kanter out, that’s one more piece that will be harder to move. With that being said, what better time than now to showcase Singler? Play him now. Show him off. Do something special.
Hey, he’s young (28), he doesn’t play a lot of minutes (40 in the past five games) and could possibly (maybe) give someone some depth down the stretch. Clearly he’s not a player coach Billy Donovan really trusts, as Singler has played 16 minutes against Cleveland, seven against Dallas and none against Utah and New Orleans.
Now’s the chance to throw him out there with no worries. Get him some minutes. Get him traded.
3. A lottery pick
Sure, it’s a longshot, but if you wanna keep Russell Westbrook happy, you got to bring in another superstar, and the chances of doing that by trade or by free agency seem unlikely.
That leaves only one option: The Lottery.
Now, yes, general manager Sam Presti could work a trade so the Thunder wind up among the teams in the mix for a top-five pick, but it’s not out of the question the Thunder could end up in a downward spiral and end up missing the playoffs. Rare is the case an immediate difference-maker is found in the middle of the first round, but the Thunder and Presti have found success with guys like Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka.
Without Kanter, the Thunder certainly have less options on making a trade, unless a team is looking to take on an injured player out for six weeks. Past Kanter, the Thunder don’t have a lot of window dressing unless they are willing to willing to part with some of their younger players, such as Alex Abrines or Joffrey Lauvergne. The idea the Thunder could get something useful for Singler is laughable.
But without Kanter, the team could dip into the abyss of the non-playoff teams. Unlikely, but possible. And that’s about the only way OKC will be able to pick up and cultivate another star.