It’s strange that a college player who never actually played a game for his college team is considered one of the can’t-miss prospects in this draft, but such is the plight of Enes Kanter. Ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA after he received impermissible benefits after playing for a professional team in Turkey, Kanter was solely a practice player for Kentucky this season.
Measurables: 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, freshman C from Kentucky
Key stats: N/A
Projected: Top 10
How would he help the Pistons?
Kanter’s biggest attribute is that he’s, well, big. At 6-10/250, he has great size already for a young big and is ahead of older players in the draft who need to do some filling out if they’re going to handle the punishment of playing in the paint in the NBA.
He also has a fairly advanced post game for a young player. He’s good at establishing position, comfortable playing with his back to the basket and he also possesses a bit of a mean streak, something the Pistons sorely lacked last season. It doesn’t stop with his physical game though. As you can see by his Nike Hoops Summit highlights, Kanter can hit the 15-footer and has enough finesse to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket as well.
How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?
The major question with Kanter is simply experience. Outside of a few highlights and very brief minutes with a team in Turkey over a year ago, no one has seen much of Kanter. Practicing all season with Kentucky certainly helped, but he might need some extra time to adjust to the NBA game because he hasn’t consistently played high-level organized basketball for a while.
What are others saying?
On top of his excellent skill level, Kanter impressed with his intangibles as well. He’s the type of quiet, competitive player that simply goes about his business without getting frustrated at officials or letting a few bad possessions throw off his game. The fact that he didn’t start the Hoop Summit game didn’t seem to faze him, as he could be seen enthusiastically supporting his team from the bench.
The NCAA denied Kanter’s bid to play for Kentucky this season, placing him in limbo all year. He’s been hanging around Kentucky, working as a student-assistant coach, but the loss of playing time hurts. He’ll spend the spring working with Michael Jordan’s former trainer, Tim Grover, in Chicago in preparation for the draft. Most GMs still have him as a top-five or top-six pick. Great workouts could lift him even higher.
“Where he ultimately lands depends on what underclassmen come out,” one NBA scout told Yahoo! Sports. “But he’s definitely top seven at worst. He’s just so skilled offensively. He has a decent midrange game and can definitely finish in the paint. He has good footwork, runs the floor well and is very agile for his size.
“From what the international scouts say, he’s the top big man coming out. He’s like a taller Al Horford. He can pick and pop, and score inside. He can pretty much fit into any system for any team that needs a center doesn’t matter if they’re a half-court or running team.”
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