Scout’s Comparison: Al Horford
Reasons to Howl: Kanter is a big, big man (Perhaps bigger than what Draft Express had him listed at). And he plays like it too. Normally when you’re challenged with gauging big men out of Europe you need to question whether their skilled in the post and have enough of a mean-streak to bang bodies under the hoop with the likes of strong, brute NBA superstars. Many, namely Darko Milicic, can’t. Kanter definitely can do that.
True centers waltz into the NBA few and far between. The last time we thought a center was ready to dominante the league was Greg Oden, but he fell hard thanks to knees comparable to a 80-year old man. Still a sweet, sweet man, nonetheless. Anyways, Kanter has the potential to step into this league and bolster a starting center spot, very similar to what Joakim Noah has done in Chicago, for a very long time. No flash, no pomposity, just straight toughness and consistency, things any GM drools over especially considering your franchise center.
Reasons to Worry: Who is he? Not many have heard of Kanter and his talents before because he was ruled ineligible to play for Kentucky this past season for receiving “impermissible benefits” during his days in Turkey. Now he’s entering the draft and forgoing any of his eligibility at Kentucky to reach for the lights and fame. Seems like a stretch to me. The only game experience he has on display was his performances at the 2010 Nike Hoops Summit, where a 34/13 game caught the eyes of many scouts. But outside of that and some lame stat lines from his time in Turkey, there really isn’t much statistical evidence to get a gauge on Kanter’s game or potential.
Benefits to the Wolves: They’re countless. Let me explain. Darko Milicic is our current starting center. A once abandoned and ostracized lottery pick, the Wolves took him in with caring hands, hoping to nurse him back to pre-draft form. It didn’t really work but he’s slowly gaining his confidence back to say the least. But there are still so many things wrong with Darko’s game that grabbing another center to spark some competition wouldn’t hurt. Nikola Pekovic? He needed to start in the D-League anyways, so leap-frogging him is no problem to me.
The benefit comes down to the result of some healthy competition at the top: Will Kanter’s presence light a fire under Darko and urge him to play up to his potential? Or will it flounder Darko and his confidence that much more, while Kanter leaps into the starting role and exceeds because of it? Only time will tell but either circumstance is fine with me.
The Howlin’ Verdict: Number 1 pick? No. But granted we’re all waiting in suspense for the lottery to screw us again, the Wolves could see Kanter sitting at 3 or 4, which would be a great spot to nab yet another foreign force at center. Hopefully this one works out.