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Enes Kanter is becoming key to the NBA Draft

May 24, 2011, 12:17 PM EDT

Enes Kanter AP

Suddenly, the NBA Draft is becoming the “what to do with Enes Kanter?” draft.

Cleveland will take Kyrie Irving No. 1 overall. Then the drama starts.

Minnesota is shopping around the No. 2 pick. Which had seemed like it will be Derrick Williams out of Arizona (a four who wants to play away from the basket more). But after not seeing much of Kanter — he didn’t play anywhere last year after coming to play for Kentucky but being ruled ineligible because he had played for a professional team in his native Turkey — scouts are becoming enamored with the guy.

Kanter measured 6’11 and ¼ tall and 259 pounds with 5.9 percent body fat at the NBA Draft Combine. He was a specimen. And while other top picks all sat out the Combine workouts Kanter was in the mix — and impressing with his energy and effort. He showed good footwork and some skill with his shot. He’s a rookie, he’s got a lot of learning to do at the NBA level, but the foundation of a very good player is in there.

He is one of a handful of players that stood out at the NBA combine. Kanter has looked fantastic at the Nike Hoops Summit and other places he has played, the hesitation is that because he sat out nobody has really seem him play much in a couple.

Kanter has a number of individual workouts that will be the big test and decide his fate. And the direction of the NBA draft.

Will some team become enamored with Kanter and trade with the Timberwolves to get him at the No. 2 spot?

If Kanter falls past the two spot, does the Utah Jazz take him at No. 3? They already have Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap under contract, their need is at the guard position and guys like Brandon Knight (who has moved up a lot of team’s draft boards) and Kemba Walker will be available. But if Kanter is really the best player available at that point, do the Jazz take him and figure they would rather figure out what to do with too much talent up front?

What the Jazz do at three is the first domino deciding what the teams after them do.

If Kanter falls to four, it’s not likely he gets past the Cavaliers. Kanter said he would like to fall to six and play for the Washington Wizards and with his friend John Wall. But that is not happening. Kanter will not fall that far.

We don’t know where Kanter will go. But right now he is becoming the hinge on which the entire draft will turn.

  1. Justin - May 24, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    He is kind of the wild card. I have heard that he isn’t the most gifted athlete but I am reading here that people saying that may have been slightly mislead. I wish we could have watched him in college so we have a better idea of what he brings. I bet most scouts wish the same thing too.

  2. willcoop - May 24, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Got to see this kid, yeah he is a specimen, but we have all heard the saying look like Tarzan plays like Jane. He still hasn’t played against anyone of solid competition yet, but the draft is being hinged on him. He is still going to be a project and playing against grizzled NBA vets that may not have his skill set, he will still get his ass handed to him. Do you take him at two or three? Maybe, just make sure it’s not Portland. But look at how many big men have come out early and been successful. Look at Noah, four years in school did not hurt him, Al Horford, and other kids that went to college. I’m saying yeah, he looks good in his skivvies, but the learning curve is still going to be deep.

  3. edmazeing1 - May 24, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    I dont see a pro baller wanting to fall down in any draft & lose money just to play with a friend.

  4. pl4tinum514 - May 24, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    In the video I did see of Kanter he looked awfully slow moving (not just running), then again I guess compared to Big Z he would be quite fast

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