NBA Draft Rumors: What's the Latest on Enes Kanter and Top European Prospects?
The Dallas Mavericks, led by Dirk Nowitzki, have just won the NBA championship. It is Nowitzki's first NBA title and certainly long overdue.
Nowitzki hails from Germany and is the best European player ever to play in the NBA.
With the NBA draft fastly approaching, there a few European bigs expected to be lottery picks. They are Enes Kanter out of Turkey, Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic, and Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania.
Which of these future NBA players has what it takes to be a NBA champion one day? Here I will discuss the positives of each prospect's game and the latest word around the league about their draft expectations.
Weight: 240 pounds
Jonas Valanciunas out of Lithuania is a thin power forward who uses his length to offset physical disadvantages. He has great athleticism and is aggressive around the rim, something appreciated from European players.
He plays hard all the time and runs the floor well. His soft hands allow him to finish smoothly at the bucket and catch passes in traffic.
On defense, he scrambles for rebounds and uses his length to disrupt or block shots.
Another plus, he is already solid in pick and roll situations and can shoot a little too.
He is almost certain to be around at pick number five where the Raptors are going to seriously consider drafting him. If they decide to go elsewhere then his next probable destination may be the Pistons at number eight.
Weight: 240 pounds
Jan Vesely out of the Czech Republic is a hybrid forward. He can play small forward or power forward depending on a team's needs.
He is great in the catch-and-shoot and has the ability to step out to the three-point line.
Like Valanciunas, he runs the floor well as he hustles down court. An added skill that Vesely possesses for someone his size is the ability to lead a fastbreak if necessary.
Vesely is extremely confident in his athletic ability. He prefers to go over defenders instead of around them.
He plays with intensity and his length helps him disrupt shots on defense.
Like Valanciunas, the Raptors with the fifth pick could be interested in Vesely's services. If they don't draft him, the Wizards with the next pick are rumored to have a likeness for the high flying forward.
Weight: 260 pounds
Enes Kanter out of Turkey should be a mainstay at power forward or center for many years in the NBA. He is the most polished European in this year's draft and will be the first prospect in this slideshow drafted.
Like Valanciunas and Vesely, Kanter also runs the floor well. Fundamentally sound, he has good footwork and agility in the low post.
He has an effective power dribble to get to the basket and good hands to finish plays. In addition to his low post game, he has a decent mid-range jumper.
Kanter is expected to go as high as number two to the Timberwolves but no lower than fourth to the Cavaliers, with the Utah Jazz picking third.