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The Case for Enes Kanter as the Number 1 Pick

Posted By Jonathan Wasserman On Jun 12 2011 @ 11:36 pm In NBA Draft | No Comments

Despite Kyrie Irving’s promise as a point guard and Derrick William’s productive college career, the mysterious Enes Kanter might pack the most reward as the number 1 pick.

Kanter has willingly worked out against competition perceived as “inferior”, while many American prospects shy away from such situations with the fear of a bad day. Considering his infamous 34 and 13 game at the 2010 Nike Hoops Summit came against the likes of Kyrie Irving and Brandon Knight, Tobias Harris, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and UNC’s Harrison Barnes, Kanter has no reason to feel timid.

In regards to International prospects, you usually find that the talented suffer physically, and the physical lack talent. Not Mr. Kanter.  At 6’11.25 with a 7’1 wingspan and a 9’1.5 standing reach, weighing 259 lbs with a 5.9% body fat, Kanter possesses ideal physical tools suited for NBA play. Between the Summit, high school video and ongoing workouts, he’s looked comfortable and confident with his midrange jumper, a critical weapon in terms of justifying his status as a number one pick.

By selecting Kanter as the number one pick, the Cavs can almost guarantee themselves Brandon Knight at the 4. Remember, if Cleveland takes Kyrie Irving first overall, it’s likely that Knight would be best player available at 4, (if Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter go 2 and 3) who wouldn’t make sense as a pick considering the positional conflict. This would force Cleveland to reach for someone like Kawai Leonard or Jan Vesely, neither of which warrant a top 4 selection.

If Cleveland takes Derrick Williams first overall, it’s possible that they come out of this draft without a point guard (unless they reach for Kemba Walker), considering Irving and Knight can go 2, and 3.

Outside of Kanter, Derrick Williams, Kyrie Irving and Brandon Knight, there’s a potential dropoff in terms of talent and upside. Kanter at the 1 is the only solution to avoiding the possibility of having reach or come out “point-guardless”.

Kanter as the top pick allows Cleveland more flexibility at the 4th pick, and guarantees them the ability to fill the two most coveted positions in terms of rebuilding a rotation. With Irving’s reluctance to participate in athletic testing and workouts, and Derrick Williams questionable position, Enes Kanter is slowly moving into position as the top prospect in 2011.

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