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The Houston Rockets are waiving Enes Kanter Freedom after acquiring the center via trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As teams raced to get transactions done before the NBA’s trade deadline concluded on Thursday at 3 p.m. (ET), Boston shipped a package including Kanter Freedom to Houston in exchange for center Daniel Theis —who previously played for the Celtics from 2017 to 2020.
Freedom’s appearance on the court this season has been scarce, with some fans and supporters speculating that his anti-China messaging caught up to Enes and made him a liability due to the Association’s link with the Chinese market.
The Rockets previously found themselves in hot water with the CCP when former general manager Daryl Morey supported Hong Kong’s independence in 2019. Morey caught flak for tweeting “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”
Kanter Freedom has averaged 11.7 minutes, 3.7 points, and 4.6 rebounds in 35 games this season. He shot 52.6 percent from the field.
In his final appearance for the Celtics, facing off against the Brooklyn Nets, Freedom scored seven points and nabbed 12 rebounds.
Undefeated by the waiving but aware of the potential politics behind the scenes, Kanter posted a video on his Twitter —poking fun at Lakers superstar LeBron James and the Association’s devotion to Chinese president Xi Jingping.
Down but not out, Enes Kanter Freedom is faced with the task of finding a new home in a league that has alienated him over his pro-freedom messaging against the Chinese government.