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Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Enes Kanter

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?

From DraftExpress:

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.

From ESPN:

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.

From Yahoo!:

“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.”



  • Apr 20, 20111:06 pm
    by Tom Y.


    I’ve like Kanter and have been on his bandwagon for a while, but now I’m a bit concerned he’s too much like Monroe – skilled, solid, but not very quick or athletic. I wonder if they would fit together well. Biyombo or Valanciunas would probably complement Monroe better.
    Besides the experience thing, you forgot to mention there were some concerns about his knees, though that may not be much of an issue.

    • Apr 20, 201110:12 pm
      by James


      I think Kanter and Monroe would be a great pairing offensively.  You can’t go wrong having two versatile bigs.  From all the videos I’ve seen and reports I’ve read Kanter is a very talented offensive player.  What I do worry about is pairing him with Monroe defensively.  As you stated, the problem would be that neither are quick and athletic so we’d have no interior shot blocking.  Jonas would be the other big man getting a lot of playing time so we’d almost never have a shot blocker in the game.

  • Apr 20, 20112:10 pm
    by Oz


    Hi, I’m a big fan of Pistons from Trabzon, Turkey. I want to tell sth about Enes. He’s really big giant in the paint. His size is OK. But i think his NCAA decision was wrong. Because if he stayed at Turkey, he could play Euroleague. But now anybody knows about his style. @ 2010 Fiba Youth Men Championship Enes made 35 pts and 19 rebound against Jonas Valanciunas 14 pts with 5 rebs. Very impressive…
    Even so Jonas got big experience with Rytas at Euroleague. What did Enes do last two years? For my opinion, Utah will select Enes. And Monroe is better than Enes. We don’t need Enes.
    For the other European… Vessely is like Jerebko, but not a good defender. Motiejunas is very soft. He plays like Villanueva. Biyombo is overrated. He is not a Ben Wallace or Serge Ibaka. His maximum is Jason Maxiell. I don’t want to be a pessimist, but these are real.
    So we can use our firts round pick for a trade. One pure PG and a low post player.
    Best wishes from Turkey…

  • Apr 20, 20116:32 pm
    by BIG MARV


    A bit raw but I do like that he has a nose for the ball almost similar to Kevin Love. He does play big, has an attitude and runs the floor. It would be a hard sell at the 7th pick, detroit cannot blow that pick. I still say get the point guard first but this guy def would go in the top 15 mabey either 11th or 13th if they can convience me more in the next couple months that he’s at least a steal at 7th then I will buy it but for now. he’s a 10-15th pic which aint bad at all I still think we can get our big in the free agent market. I wouldnt have no problem with him and monroe on the court together because you can put monroe at center and now you have a legit PF that can play in and out the paint that wont be in the way.

    • Apr 20, 201110:15 pm
      by James


      He’s definitely better than a top 10-15 pick especially in a weak draft like this one.  I’d be pretty shocked if he dropped past 10.  All the draft sites I’ve checked have him in the 4 to 10 range.

  • Apr 20, 201111:23 pm
    by detroitpcb


    He is slow footed defensively.

    Offensively he is quite skilled. He definitely has size and can rebound. he is not going to block shots but i like his mean streak.
    i think he is gone before the Pistons pick – and like our friend from Turkey (wonderful country – at least along the coast) i think some of the other international players are overrated.
    This is a easy year to make a mistake with the 7th pick

  • Apr 20, 201111:31 pm
    by detroitpcb


    i think Motiejunas might be the best big in the draft but he is not a rebounder or defender – he is a better CV in that he doesn’t seem to mind taking his man down low more often than Cv does while every bit as capable of hitting the outside shot.

    a lot of people question his attitude and ‘softness’. Skinny kid though, just filling out, might turn out to be a better defender and rebounder than people expect but maybe that is wishful thinking.

    easy draft to make a mistake in.

    • Apr 21, 201111:28 am
      by BIG MARV


      Exactly this draft is not that deep and you cannot be making mistakes, James said he’s a 4-10th pick in the draft NO WAY IN HELL! if you have a half way stacked team and you need more big’s help (such as the bucks, or the miami heat) then he would be a steal but with a team like detroit thats desperate for a splash at either PG or the Center position I think you go with the PG first because you will have good scoring guys available such as Kimba Walker Brandon Knight and mabey nolan smith. But he’s def a top 15 guy but I really dont see him in the top 10 unless you really believe in the guy. Draft a PG and just worry about a big in the free agent market.

  • Apr 21, 20119:22 am
    by sop


    Kanter is definitely the best CENTER in the draft because of this size and the fact that there are no other centers. (although Biyombo could become one) The problem is the Pistons can’t draft Kanter unless that get a top 3 pick.

  • Apr 22, 20119:33 am
    by Geezy


    The sad thing of it all is that with all the kids going back to school this year (which is not a bad thing) this draft is so weak that i don’t think Walker,Knight or Kanter will be available at #7 for us. We will be looking at options such as Fredette,Terrance Jones, or the Bismack guy. I agree with the person from from Turkey and would probably look to trade if we are unable to land one of the first three. The Euro invasion doesn’t look to promising outside of Kanter.

    • Apr 24, 20114:28 am
      by Oz


      2011 Rising Star Awards (European) announced. Nikola Mirotic (forward, Real Madrid) chosen 2011 Rising Star. Victor Claver is second, J. Vesely is third, Jonas Vlanciunas is fourth. Europeans are really really weak. Let’s look! Jerebko was selected second round. In spite of that, his size and skill level is OK for NBA. But can Vesely do this? Or J. Valanciunas? Enes is a project but include lots of risks. First of all, he feels like a All-Star! Only sweat dreams… I hope he will be successful, but i guess he won’t.
      So i don’t have great expections. If Cavs will select Irving, they want to send B Davis. Can’t we trade Rip for Davis?

  • May 2, 20114:59 pm
    by engin


    Hi I am from Turkey.I read the thoughts you all made and i understand u have no idea about Kanter. He measured 6ft11 and 260 pound in amare stoudemire’s camp last summer.yes he is not an elite athlete but when did u see a monster 360 jam from an european big man. He has really good foot speed to guard power forwards.He will play 4 and 5 positions in nba. The only reason for not being selected in the first pick is he did not play pro level games last two years.For me he is ‘Duncan Light’

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