NBA Draft 2011: Enes Kanter the Second Priority for the Washington Wizards?
With all the hype over this March Madness in college basketball, the biggest surprise to basketball fans is how well small forward Derrick Williams is carrying his Arizona Wildcats. Many fans from the lottery teams in the NBA look at the NCAA tournament as a chance to see some prospects who could possibly take over as their team's new star.
For Washington Wizard fans, some are hoping that they pick up a swingman that can score aside John Wall, but they are forgetting the biggest need for the team, the big men.
Power forward Andray Blatche and center JaVale McGee have shown some promise in the past, but after a projected breakout year, the time may be up. Although I know that both guys can't be dropped from the team, the most probable solution would be just to get rid of Blatche.
Andray Blatche has been in the league for six years already and has had numerous cases of bad behavior off the court and is currently struggling with injuries. If a stud PF is brought in Blatche would have to move to the bench or just out of D.C.
Ernie Grunfeld’s done an great job of bringing players in who leave their heart out on the court and shows winning attitudes in games. Jordan Crawford, Trevor Booker, and when he’s not n foul trouble, Kevin Seraphin all impress (all rookies). Andray is highly skilled and is versatile, but he doesn't have the mind set that needs to be brought on a rebuilding team. JaVale McGee still has tremendous upside in his game as well as freakish athleticism.
Who do the Wizards need the most?
After Ohio State star Jared Sullinger already said he is returning to Ohio State for his second season, the only player in the draft that can make an immediate impact in the league is Enes Kanter from Kentucky.
In November, Enes Kanter was ruled "permanently ineligible" by the NCAA because his father reportedly accepted "benefits" from a Turkish professional club over and above actual expenses. Supposedly, Kanter's European club Fenerbahce Ulker, paid cash and benefits over a three year period to reimburse him for expenses. The NCAA declared that about $30,000 of those payments were outside the eligibility rules.
Enes Kanter is a 6'11" Center from Turkey. He has a 7'1" wingspan and a 9'1" standing reach. It's fair to assume that at 18 years old, he's probably still growing. Kanter won't make you jump out of your seat with his athleticism, but unlike the other Euro big men in this draft Kanter has a well developed frame and is extremely strong. He's not the most explosive jumper, but he's got great foot work, and a high skill level. He runs the floor well for a guy his size, got great hands that are able to secure any basketball close to him. What he lacks in pure athleticism and quickness - he more than makes up for in intelligence, skill level and energy.
Kanter's most notable performance was in the Nike Hoop Summit last year where he squared off against the top high school prospects in America which consisted of Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, and Terrence Jones. In that game he broke Dirk Nowitzki's scoring record by scoring 34 points and snatching 13 rebounds.
Now let's be honest, Enes Kanter is not a finished product due to the fact that he is 18 years old and despite the fact that he has dominated wherever he’s played. The NBA is a totally different level, which is the reason why foreign guys go there in the first place. He has the size, tools, work ethic, and basketball IQ to succeed. But despite all that, guys like Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez, Andrea Bargnani, and Pau Gasol, will eat him alive as a Rookie. Perimeter oriented big men will definitely give him loads of trouble due to his quickness on defense.
He is a good rebounder on both defensively and offensively. Part of that is due to his body frame in which he has an advantage over the college and 18 year olds that he has been playing against, but in the NBA most centers will be just like him, big and crafty. I’m sure that he will still be able to hold his position down low for rebounds because he has a strong base. He has an extreme motor that makes him one of the players that will keep fighting for the ball relentlessly. Those qualities should make him a very good rebounder in the NBA.
The truth is the Wizards need to get tougher, and although they have made improvements in that category through drafting Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin last year, the starting five is still soft in the paint. For the uptempo style of play from the Washington Wizards, Kanter should excel in getting rebounds and running down the court to clean up any mess that John Wall leaves for him on fastbreaks.
Will Kanter be a superstar in this league?
As far as I see no; but then again I didn't think Kevin Love would be a superstar in the league and now he is breaking records. Kanter can be an all-star though and be a starting center or power forward for a playoff team. The most reasonable NBA comparison for him should is Al Horford.
The Wizards need a wing player as well but with this draft being loaded with SFs like Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, Perry Jones, Tobias Harris, Jordan Hamilton, etc., their opinions will be open throughout the whole draft.
On defense in the Wizards' system, Kanter would be the one guarding the big bulky centers or power forwards in the league like Kendrick Perkins, Carlos Boozer, or Shaq. While McGee can guard the perimeter based centers or power forwards like Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett, or Joakim Noah.
If the Wizards can play their cards right in this draft, they could be a contender for the playoffs in the next year or so.
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