2011 NBA Draft and Why Enes Kanter Should Be the Top Pick

Alexander DiegelCorrespondent IIIJune 14, 2011

Dan Gilbert will has a tough decision to make with the top overall pick.
Dan Gilbert will has a tough decision to make with the top overall pick.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This year's draft is proving to be the most difficult one to predict in years. Lack of a clear-cut No. 1, little-known foreigners and top prospects choosing to stay in school make it an enigma. So, why not take the mysterious mountain from Turkey, Enes Kanter?

Cleveland seems dead-set on making Kyrie Irving the third point guard in the last four years to go No. 1 overall. But, in an era where the great center is becoming extinct, and in a draft where several of the top prospects are guards (Cleveland also has the fourth overall pick), the Cavaliers could be kicking themselves for the next decade for not taking Kanter. 

I'm not one to trust workouts. I think great players need to, well, play. But after seeing the video included with this article, I will make an exception. Watch it, and I think you will, too. Kanter shows off the full arsenal: 360 dunks with ease, an array of post moves, quick handles and draining NBA-range threes. 

To go with all the skills? How about a 6'11", 240 lb. frame. He can play either the power forward or center position, pending your incumbent at those positions. If Cleveland does take him first overall, the Cavs pair him with J.J. Hickson, and suddenly have a young, athletic 4/5 combination to build around.

And for those questioning whether he can get those shots off quick enough against NBA athletes? I don't think he needs them; they are just a complement. In the Nike Hoop Summit, Kanter dominated the country's best prospects. He set the game's record with 34 points and added 13 rebounds, all in 24 minutes of play. 

Most of these points were of the back-to-the basket bull-your-way-in variety. He was 13-of-21 from the field, and hit 8-of-9 foul shots. Critics will point out that was the last game he played in nearly a year. Is Kyrie Irving's 11 games really that much of a difference?

It wasn't long ago that the common trend in the NBA was taking high school players who hadn't played a single college game first overall. Remember LeBron James and Dwight Howard? Yeah, those guys have done pretty well without any NCAA seasoning. 

If Cleveland really is in love with Irving's game and really does have him rated that much higher than any other guard on the board, they must find a way to trade their fourth pick with Minnesota for the second. If they let Kanter go to another team, they will regret it. 

In 1998, the Dallas Mavericks traded a proven Big Ten commodity in the late Robert 'Tractor' Traylor for a skinny, European seven-footer people who had set the record at the Nike Hoop Summit for points with 33 . His name? Dirk Nowitzki.

You've guaranteed your Cavaliers will win a championship before LeBron's Heat, Dan Gilbert. The only way to do that is take some risks. It worked out for the Mavericks, didn't it?