Kanter Showing Why The Knicks Need Him

I’m a big believer in letting experts do their job, whatever it is.

You don’t tell a plumber how to fix the leaky toilet. You don’t tell the lawyer how to argue the case. You don’t tell a GM who to sign or draft or acquire.

Except in this case.

The case of Enes Kanter.

The Knicks need to do everything in their power to keep Kanter in a New York jersey if he opts out of his current contract, which will pay him $18.4 million next season.

Yes, Kanter is an old-school, on-the-block center in a league that has gone away from that style of play. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for that kind of talent.

[Watch Knicks-Magic Tuesday on MSG & MSG GO. Download the app for free.]

The Pelicans were on the verge of becoming an elite team with the combination of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis before Cousins suffered a season-ending injury.

The Knicks could have such a formidable pairing with Kanter and Kristaps Porzingis. Add a dynamic wing in the upcoming NBA Draft and that’s quite a frontcourt.

Keeping Kanter falls in line with management’s mandate to get younger and more athletic. Kanter will turn 26 in May. He’s having the best season of his career, averaging 14.1 points and 11 rebounds with a career-high 39 double-doubles.

These are all legitimate reasons why the Knicks should keep Kanter. They are not the only reasons.

Any Knicks fan that watched Wednesday night’s 118-101 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers saw why Kanter is a must keep. He scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, despite taking a brutal fall in the fast half after a hard foul from fellow Turk, Ersan Ilyasova.

Kanter could have sat out the second half and no one would have questioned that decision. But Kanter’s old-school game is surpassed only by his old-school work ethic, which he wants to pass down.

“I didn’t want to quit on my teammates and coaches,’’ Kanter said following the game, after an X-ray on his back was negative.

“I understand we’re not making the playoffs but it shows a lot for the young guys. We still have games to get better for next year and don’t want to quit on them.

“I could’ve just walked to the locker room, but I played through it to show character to the young guys. You’re not going to be 100 percent every day.”

[Robbins: Kerem Kanter Always Has Big Brother Enes In His Corner]

No NBA player is going to be 100 percent for every each and every game in an 82-game season. That’s a given. So is Kanter’s remarkable work ethic.

He shows up for every game, goes after it every game, earns his paycheck every game.

In addition to getting younger and more athletic, the Knicks want to get tougher. They want to develop a culture in which playing hard every night is the norm.

“Enes is not a big talker,’’ coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters earlier this season. “He’s the example guy and goes out there and plays hard as he can.’’

“I love when he gets in, posts and knocks someone around and gives us the muscles. Guys get a kick out of it. He tries to do it by example.’’

Kanter also loves doing it in the Big Apple. There are some athletes that have failed in New York. They couldn’t take the scrutiny; the intense media coverage.

Kanter has embraced this wonderful melting pot. That’s another example he’s setting – New York is a great place to play and The Garden is a great destination for free agents.

“I like the culture, the fans, the city, the atmosphere,’’ Kanter told reporters. “Like Madison Square Garden, the people, the organization, the writers. Do you want me to continue?’’

We get the point. What we want is for Kanter to be a Knick for a long time to come.

[Watch Knicks-Magic Tuesday on MSG & MSG GO. Download the app for free.]