Kanter's 2018-19 season started with the Knicks, but despite solid offensive numbers, his playing time faded as New York prioritized playing and developing younger players amid the team's struggles.
Kanter often vented about his usage, and he eventually was waived by the Knicks in February in a split that both sides said was amicable.
A week later, Portland signed Kanter to a one-year, $654,000 contract with the intention of having him back up Jusuf Nurkic. But when Nurkic suffered season-ending compound fractures to his left leg in a late-March win against the Nets, Kanter was thrust into a starting role, and he responded well.
In five April starts, he averaged 19.6 points and 12.4 rebounds. And he carried that into the playoffs, accruing several strong performances in the team's opening-round series against Thunder and then early in the Nuggets series before defensive struggles largely kept him in check against the Warriors.
In eight NBA seasons, the 27-year-old Kanter holds career averages of 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 54.1% from the field. But he also struggles defensively, and ranked 71st of 72 qualified centers in the league in defensive plus-minus rating this past season.