By The Ghost of Kristaps Past
Enes Kanter’s game is a relic from a bygone era. If he had been drafted in 1991 he would have long established himself as a superstar big man. He would have racked up perennial All-Star berths. He would have opted out of the final year of his contract to lock in another max deal through his prime years and, at just 26 years old, been one of the prized jewels of free agency.
Unfortunately, for Kanter, he was drafted in 2011. He has plied his craft during a period of time in which the NBA has veered away from relying on traditional, in-the-paint, post-up big men. Teams want their big men to be able to shoot from beyond the arc to spread the floor and create space for guards and wings to exploit inside, not hover around the paint and commandeer that space for themselves. Defensively, bigs who can hold their own in the post are of less importance than those with the mobility to switch across positions and comfortably defend in space.
Floor spacer and fleet-of-foot are not ways to describe the Turkish ex-pat. He’s frequently guilty of tunnel vision with the ball and hasn’t proven to be effective as a floor spacer. While he does excel at scoring inside and offensive rebounding, ranking among the league’s true elites in both categories year after year, both also happen to be of reduced importance in the league today. And for as good as he in those aspects of the game, he’s equally poor defensively....