NPH Raptors Draft Watch: The Euros Pt. 3 Enes Kanter
TORONTO,ON-Enes Kanter is a very interesting player, and one that could significantly help the Raptors. It doesn’t help that no one got to see what Kanter could do with Kentucky last season; the Turkish born player was ineligible to play in the NCAA with the Wildcats. However, from the little video out there and the recent training workouts, there is reason to be excited about Kanter. He is simply, a big, strong, physical body who can shoot the ball well. If Kanter can combine his brute physical strength, with the skill scouts have seen glimpses of, he can be a dominating player.
The skill-set is there for Kanter to be effective in the paint. He can create his own shot by using his strength to clear space, while possessing good post up moves that can allow him to turn and shoot or to hit shots facing the basket. To add value, he has a mid range shot that will give him a strong advantage over big defenders who don’t like to venture too far out of the paint. It is not certain whether he will be a power forward or centre at the NBA level, but at 6’11 and 261 pounds, he has the natural physique to be an NBA centre.
Kanter made news in May for refusing to work out with the Raptors and the Jazz.
He said that both teams are loaded in the frontcourt, and he wanted to play for Washington instead. Interesting point, considering Washington has two solid big men in JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche. Maybe he wanted to follow in the footsteps of fellow Wildcat John Wall. Either way, this should signal giant red flags for Raptors management. Here you have a 19-year-old player who has the ego to demand which NBA team he will play for. The Raps have already gone through one Turkish player with ego issues, (Hedo Turkoglu) do they really want to do it again?
But yet, the skill-set is so great, if he is available to the Raptors, (many think he will be drafted in the top 4) how could they turn him down? He would finally provide the Raptors with that big, hulking centre they have always needed. Maybe playing Kanter at the five would help take some defensive burden off Bargnani (not that there’s much to take off in the first place,) and allow Bargs to go back to his original position at power forward.
Finally, there have been issues about Kanter’s knees. Once again, raise those red flags. You never want to involve yourself with a guy who could have chronic knee problems. See Brandon Roy.
Mock drafts have Kanter going fourth overall to Cleveland, but there have been rumours that Cleveland might instead go with Jonas Valanciunas. If Kanter is still available, Raptors should jump at the chance to draft him, despite his reluctance to workout for Toronto a month ago. Enes Kanter fits every need the Raps require at the 5-spot, and as long as his attitude and his knees check out, there is a good chance he will be a solid NBA player.
Photo Credit: James Crisp, AP