Turkish center Enes Kanter reportedly will not meet to interview with three lottery teams. Posted by Ben Golliver.
The long, strange journey of Turkish center Enes Kanter took another twist on Friday, when ESPN reported that Kanter "stood up" three teams with lottery picks at the Chicago pre-draft combine.
Kanter reportedly refused to participate in interviews with the Utah Jazz, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks. The Jazz hold the No. 3 and No. 12 picks in the draft, the Raptors are the No. 5 pick and the Bucks are the No. 10 selection. Update: a second ESPN report notes that Kanter is now scheduled to meet with the Jazz on June 2.
This early in the process, refusing to interview with teams is highly unusual. The only explanations: Kanter doesn't want to play for those teams or he does want to play for someone else.
On Thursday, CSNWashington.com reported that Kanter's preference was the Washington Wizards, who hold the No. 6 pick. In Washington, Kanter would be in a major market on the Eastern seaboard and would have plenty of playing time. He would also be playing with a dynamic point guard in John Wall.
So what to make of the three teams he stood up?
Utah has a fairly loaded frontline with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap already in place. Indeed, DraftExpress.com reports: "Doesn't want to play for them according to his camp. Too many big men?"
Toronto could certainly use a low-post presence to pair with Andrea Bargnani, but they've also got rookie Ed Davis already in the development cycle and there's the whole "playing in Canada rather than the United States" thing, which trips up some people.
As for the Bucks, Kanter will almost certainly be gone by No. 10 so other than courtesy there wasn't much point in meeting with them anyway. Also, Andrew Bogut is in place, and a Bogut/Kanter pairing might be a bit redundant.
Kanter sat out all of last season with NCAA eligibility issues and has reportedly told teams he will conduct only solo workouts.