May 20, 2011

Can Detroit Pistons grab Enes Kanter with No. 8 pick? Some mock drafts say yes

CHICAGO — Considering he is a top prospect in this year’s NBA draft, Enes Kanter is somewhat of an unknown.
He seems to be in a hurry to change that fact.

While other top prospects plan to sit out part or all of the workouts scheduled for the NBA predraft camp in Chicago this week, Kanter is eager to prove himself.

That makes sense considering no one has seen Kanter play in more than a year.

“I’m doing everything here,” Kanter said Thursday. “I don’t have anything to hide. I love to show people what I can do.”

Kanter, who turns 19 Friday, sat out his freshman season at Kentucky after the NCAA declared him ineligible because he was considered a professional because he briefly played overseas.

But he made an impression the last time people saw him play. In a Hoops Summit game in April 2010, Kanter had 34 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes. He matched up against Jared Sullinger, who went on to average 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds as a freshman at Ohio State.

After being declared ineligible, Kanter remained at Kentucky. During his freshman year in school, he attended classes and worked out with coaches and players. He also learned English.
“It wasn’t hard,” Kanter said. “I said, ‘That’s my homeland now, so I have to learn. It wasn’t that hard. I watched TV. I didn’t listen to music because they were too fast.”

Mock drafts don’t mean much this early, but they help provide some range for where a player will be drafted. Most have Kanter being picked in the top four. At least one — and a respected one at that — has Kanter sliding to the Pistons, who have the eighth pick. has the Pistons taking Kanter with Lithuanian center Donatas Motiejunas and Texas forward Tristan Thompson still on the board. A frontcourt pairing of Greg Monroe, the seventh overall pick last season, and Kanter would be interesting.

But where Kanter goes in the draft has a lot to do with his workouts. Although Kanter said he has nothing to hide, it appears he is holding back a bit about making promises, as this exchange with media members shows:

Question: “How many teams will you be willing to work out for?”

Kanter: “I don’t know yet. I’ll think about it after pre-draft camp.”
Question: “In terms of doing competitive stuff, (will you be) doing 3-on-3s with other players or just one-on-zeroes?”

Kanter: “I don’t know yet. I will think about it and I will talk to my agent.”

But Kanter felt good about what he showed teams during workouts Thursday.

“Today was so great,” he said. “I just tried to do my best. I just ran hard and I tried to play hard. I hope I showed people something.”


• Point guards Brandon Knight (Kentucky) and Kemba Walker (UConn) were among a handful of players who said they met with the Pistons.

• Point guard Jimmer Fredette (Brigham Young), shooting guard Alec Burks (Colorado) and small forward Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State) said they had meetings scheduled with Detroit.

Can Detroit Pistons grab Enes Kanter with No. 8 pick? Some mock drafts say yes
By Chris Iott Published: Friday, May 20, 2011, 7:30 AM

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