Portland Trail Blazers: Enes Kanter is one of the best rebounders ever

Damian Lillard and Enes Kanter, Portland Trail Blazers. (Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports)
Damian Lillard and Enes Kanter, Portland Trail Blazers. (Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Fans may not have realized it, but Portland Trail Blazers big man Enes Kanter is one of the best rebounders in NBA History. The Turkish big man has carved out a career where he is currently one of the best glass cleaners in the league, and now he has career records that stack up with some of the best players to ever play the game. Let’s dive into Kanter’s career, and record on the glass.

Coming into the NBA, Kanter was a great rebounder. Though he was unable to play at Kentucky due to eligibility issues, he grabbed 13 rebounds in the Nike Hoop Summit and 17 rebounds in the Jordan Brand Classic when still an amateur.

Drafted with the third pick in the 2011 Draft by the Utah Jazz his first two seasons weren’t massive in terms of grabbing boards, but he still grabbed 1.7 offensive boards per game in 14 minutes per night. In 2013/14 his role increased to full-time backup where he also started some games. His minutes increased and he moved up to 7.5 boards per game.

In that season, the Jazz drafted Rudy Gobert and unfortunately picked Gobert over Kanter, moving Kanter to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was there that Kanter’s rebounding numbers started to jump. He averaged 8.9 and 8.1 in consecutive seasons, before being traded to the New York Knicks, for current Blazer Carmelo Anthony.

In New York, he averaged a career-high 11 rebounds including a whopping 3.8 offensive rebounds.

Per Cleaning the Glass this was where he finished in his position that year.

99th percentile on offensive rebounds, 96th percentile on defensive rebounds.

This was the first season Kanter put his name among the best in the league in rebound percentage. Though some fans think rebounds per game is the best way to judge rebounding, this isn’t always accurate, Because some players have lesser roles or don’t start like Kanter, using rebounding percentage breaks it down so you can truly see who the best rebounders are per minute they are on the court.

After accepting a buyout from the second year of his Knicks deal where he was again one of the best rebounders in the league, he signed with the Blazers for the rest of the season and had a great playoffs as a Jusuf Nurkic injury replacement.

He played the next season for the Boston Celtics where he didn’t get as much burn but still rebounded at a high level. Then he was traded to the Blazers where he had a career year last season of 2021.

Career-high in offensive rebounds 3.9.

Career-high in defensive rebounds 7.1.

Career-high in total rebounds 11.0.

Now he has been in the league for ten seasons, he already ranks in the top 100 all-time for offensive rebounds, at 71st. He is on track for the top 30 all-time if he continues at this same rate.

When looking at rebound percentage, he is an incredible sixth all-time on the offensive glass, 30th all-time in defensive rebound percentage, and ninth all-time in total rebound percentage.

Kanter is putting his name alongside some of the greatest rebounders to ever play the game. He grabs boards at some the highest rates ever seen, and at just 29, he still has many years left to torment opponents on the glass.

 Let’s hope the Blazers bring him back in 2022. 

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