May 24, 2011

Who is Enes Kanter and why are the Jazz interested?

SALT LAKE CITY - Enes Kanter, a 19 year old, 6'-11" center from Turkey will soon be playing in the USA as he is one of the top picks for the upcoming NBA Draft, but exactly where he will go is another question.
Is it possible that he could be playing for the Utah Jazz come the 2011-12 season? Maybe, as they have a No. 3 pick for the draft in June.

But where did he come from and why are NBA teams salivating over this apparent unknown? He seems like he just popped onto the radar.

While fans may not be too familiar with Kanter, NBA executives and writers have know about this kid for quite some time and he was one of 54 prospects at last week's NBA Draft Combine.

Chances are he would have become a household name last year playing for the University of Kentucky, but because he was ruled ineligible due to benefits he received while playing in the professional league in Turkey, Kanter wasn't able to wow anyone by dominating college basketball like Jimmer Fredette, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams and Brandon Knight.

However, NBA execs are judging Kanter by his earlier years.

In 2008 at the age of 16, Kanter played for the Turkish professional team Fenerbahce Ulker in four Euroleague games.

In 2009, Kanter played for Turkey at the 2009 FIBA Under-18 Championships where he averaged 18.6 points and 16.4 rebounds and led Turkey to a bronze medal. Kanter also received MVP Honors in the championships.

With the many mock drafts out there, Kanter is almost as enigmatic as Fredette projected to go a number of places, but likely landing in the Top 5 with the Jazz just being one of many teams interested in him. insider Chad Ford put his thoughts about the NBA Draft Combine out there last Friday after the Combine concluded in Chicago and said Kanter received the most buzz.

Ford also stated in his Friday blog post that he thought Kanter "didn't have one particular wow moment, he looked athletic, made a number of emphatic dunks and outhustled everyone else in his category. His performance here won't be enough to erase all the question marks teams had, but it was a start," posted Ford.

Ford projects that Kanter will go to the Cleveland Cavaliers as their No. 4 pick, but the Jazz have the No. 3 pick and could snatch him before the Cavaliers do.

The official measurements from the NBA Draft Combine were released late last week and Kanter was proved just as exciting by those as he is by his performance.

Kanter measured in height at 6'9.75" without shoes and 6'11.25" with shoes. He weighed in at 259.2 pounds and measured a wing span of 7'1.5". What team wouldn't want a player like that?

At almost seven feet tall (with shoes on), weighing almost 260 pounds, and with a wingspan of over seven feet, Ford said Kanter's measurements, "gives him a very good size at the power forward position and makes him a passable (albeit slightly undersized) center as well."

In a scouting report by David Locke, the play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, he stated simply that Kanter "is an NBA player. His elite skill is rebounding. He is going to be a big time rebounder in the NBA."

In a recent article by the Deseret News, Kanter spoke about how he used to wake up early to watch fellow Turkish player Mehmet Okur play.

Kanter also told the Deseret News that he will have a workout in Utah before the draft, but in Ford's blog post Monday, Ford stated that "sources in both Utah and Kanter's camp said it was mutually agreed that the Jazz would fly to Chicago on June 2 and see Kanter work out in Chicago."

Who is Enes Kanter and why are the Jazz interested?
By Kira Terry, contributor May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:00pm

No comments:

Post a Comment