The Turkish big man was ruled ineligible this past season, but perhaps that hurt his Kentucky teammates more than it hurt his draft status. NBA teams are familiar with Kanter from his 34-point, 13-rebound performance at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit where he muscled his way in the paint, dominating the likes of Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones, and Patric Young in just 24 minutes of action. And now that teams are getting their first look at the 6'11", 19-year old, he's being mentioned as a challenger to Kyrie Irving for the Draft's top spot.
Kanter measured out well, standing at 6'11 ¼" and weighing in at 260 pound at 5.9 percent body fat. Some scouts worried that he would be rusty and in poor condition and for those reasons alone, not his sheer talent, would have Kanter slip a bit-but they would be wrong. Kanter looked chiseled and in peak physical condition, especially after he completed a 21-minute circuit on the treadmill, lasting sixth longest amongst draft prospects in the speed, quickness and conditioning test.
He has the size and strength to pass as a center as well as the inside scoring. He has a relentless motor on the floor to dominate the board and excellent footwork in the post. His skills are still developing, but his motor and size are big reasons behind why Kanter was able to collect eight offensive boards in the Hoop Summit game, mostly against the 2011 NCAA Freshman of the Year, Jared Sullinger.
What helps his status even further is his ability to step away from the low blocks and knock down mid-range jumpers with relative consistency and even some NBA 3s. His primary offensive focus won't be as a stretch-the-floor big, but it shows that Kanter can do some damage in a pick-and-roll game as well as spread the defense.
In a point guard oriented league where Derrick Rose reigns as the MVP, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul led their team to playoff berths in 2011 and John Wall and Deron Williams are the focal point of rebuilding projects, Duke's Kyrie Irving projects to go No. 1 to Cleveland, but Kanter is a heck of a talent that could go anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4.