Chad Ford says Kanter will be getting drafted on ‘one great game’

In a draft with no sure thing, Enes Kanter may be the most mysterious of all.

Kanter is projected as being a top-5 pick, with the potential to be drafted as high as first overall, but hasn’t played a game since last spring’s Nike Hoops Summit. While he was able to practice regularly at UK, that layoff creates some uncertainty.

“At the end of the day, he had one great game,” ESPN Draft analyst Chad Ford said in . “You’re going to draft this guy basically on two games that scouts may have seen him at. And as far as NBA decision-makers go, really one game.”

Even that one game, where Kanter set a record by scoring 34 points, wasn’t necessarily the best test case for how Kanter plays against top competition.

“Whether that (Hoops Summit performance) translates into the NBA game, you’re really guessing at this point,” Ford said. “Nike Hoops Summit or Euro U-18 games, those aren’t even like real basketball in a lot of ways. They’re pretty much All-Star games, essentially.”

Because Kanter is limiting his workouts, it makes it harder to evaluate how he plays against competition. He’s participating in the NBA Combine in Chicago starting Wednesday, and he’s been working out with trainer Tim Grover, but those don’t simulate games.

“Not going to be in a competitive environment,” Ford said. “It’s going to be watching him shoot jumpers and run around cones in a gym.”

Still, Kanter’s talent is apparent. Coupled with a weak draft that contains “no players who can turn a franchise around,” as Ford billed it, he will still be a top pick.

“He’s not soft. He’s tough, he’s physical, he likes to play down low. And he’s skilled and has a very high IQ,” Ford said. “Watching him workout, he reminded me of a tougher Carlos Boozer. And in this draft, that’s great.”


Ford also threw in this about Brandon Knight, when talking about whether the Utah Jazz would be obligated to take Jimmer Fredette.

“There’s an argument to be made that BK, while he was rocky as a freshman at UK, is a big-time prospect,” Ford said. “With his size and athleticism, he’s a big-time prospect.”