1. Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter’s game is simplistic in nature. At 6’11” and roughly 250 pounds, he’s proven to be a handful near the rim, including a soft touch out of the post. He can throw his weight around, clearing out any and all opponents in order to control the boards.
What Kanter does, he does at a high level, as was the case this past season. Splitting time between the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers, the eight-year veteran nearly averaged a double-double with 13.7 points and 9.8 rebounds, all coming in less than 25 minutes per game.
His presence on the inside would’ve been a welcome addition to just about any team a decade ago. In 2019? Not so much. He’s less valuable with the inability to provide spacing, clogging up the paint and not being able to defend his own position, much less stifle a perimeter player off a pick-and-roll.
When things are good, Kanter seems to be rosy and energetic. During his time with the lowly Knicks, he was a constant drag and a juicy bug for soundbites in protest of his lack of playing time. He seemed more invested in his own success, unable to see or simply indifferent to the bigger picture that was New York’s rebuilding project.
With the Blazers, there was no public controversy, which speaks volumes about his ability to function in less than ideal circumstances. Over the course of an 82-game regular season, the highs are met with plenty of lows. Teams need players who understand that and can trudge along anyway.
Leadership qualities aside, Kanter’s game simply isn’t conducive to the ideal style of play in the modern NBA. Maybe teams can throw him out there for spurts at a time to establish an inside presence. Any front office looking for more is fooling themselves with a player more known for his hollow stats than anything else.