There is a very big question I would like to ask those who are speculating that Derrick Williams will be Cleveland’s first
or possibly second pick.
“Why not Enes Kanter?”
Looking back on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2010 season, their rankings in the defensive categories were atrocious. In the bottom half of both offensive and defensive columns, the Cavaliers were ranked 23rd in points allowed (104.5) and 22nd in rebounds per game (40.3).
When you compare those numbers with the likes of the Chicago Bulls top notched defense (2nd in both categories) or, even the Indiana Pacers (5th in rebounds per game and 17th in points allowed), the Cavaliers have a lot of work to do to ensure that these improve masterfully in the next couple of months going into the 2011 NBA season. Being realistic, one cannot expect Cleveland to be in contention for any type of playoff run next season, but the rebuilding stages would take a huge leap if the franchise got a player that could improve the team in those aspects.
Enes Kanter may not have been able to play at Kentucky this season, but there is some level of performance Cleveland could use as a measuring stick.
When he played for Turkey, he was named the MVP in 2009 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, where he averaged 18.6 points and 16.4 rebounds. There is not an athlete or fan in the world that can relay the point that Kanter cannot be heavily used in the Cavaliers’ system, with their previous lack of big body playmaking under the basket.
I understand the need for Cleveland to bring all around great players to their roster, but the best way to advance is to add role players who excel at their position. Wouldn’t you rather have an excellent center/power forward than a small forward who needs to improve in all avenues of his game?
People can pick away at the fact that Kanter was suspended from the Kentucky program indefinitely because he was paid by Turkey, but the rules instituted by the NCAA are so aged and ridiculous that anyone could be in violation if they do not wear the right colors to a shootaround. Bob Knight, one of the most respected college basketball coaches in history, has also spoke up about how outdated the NCAA rules have become, as reported by ESPN.
“I think this NCAA that we’re currently involved with is so far out of touch with the integrity of the sport that it’s just amazing,” Knight said.
Cleveland already has players who can score from behind the three-point line so that piece of Williams’ game does not seem too flashy within an organization that already has said characteristics. What the team needs the most Derrick cannot deliver.
But, Enes Kanter can.