So Enes Kanter wants to play for the Wizards. That's nice, in the sense that it's rare to see someone who actually wants to play here. Mike Bibby, for example, withheld his entire 2011/12 salary just to not play here. I get why people are excited.
But I'm going to have to pour some cold water on this, or at the very least provide a bunch of reasons why I don't think this is that huge a development. As much as I like Kanter and as much as I like his enthusiasm, I see three major issues with this declaration. I'm going to throw them out quickly and allow others to respond, because I don't know for sure whether these are legitimate issues. I just know that, in thinking about this, these three questions crop up.
1. He's likely to be gone by the No. 6 pick: This is the most obvious and reported problem. I find it hard to believe that Cleveland wouldn't take him at No. 4, for example. It's early and things can change, but for now, I think it's safe to assume that getting Kanter would require moving up to get him. As much as he in theory provides what this team needs, I'm reluctant to advocate dealing assets to move up and grab a guy who hasn't played an organized game in 13 months. It's a risk that may work out, but I'm still a bit uncomfortable making it.
2. Him blowing off interviews means little: For example, one of the teams he reportedly blew off were the Utah Jazz. Well, now Chad Ford is reporting that the Jazz will spend all day working Kanter out and interviewing him in Chicago on June 2. So much for him blowing off the Jazz. Maybe Utah won't pick him anyway, but he's hardly steering his way to D.C. in the same way Yi tried to steer his way to a big market.
3. How much of his comment has to do with John Wall, and not the Wizards? Maybe this is a semantics issue, since Wall is basically the Wizards at this point. But my sense is that the two men are advocating for each other because of the Kentucky connection more than anything. Kanter practiced with Kentucky all season, and Wall definitely went back a few times this year. Wall is very local to Kentucky, and he's going to fight for his guys. All this is to say that I suspect Kanter wouldn't be as enthusiastic about the Wizards if he didn't go to Kentucky. This feels like two Kentucky guys throwing each other a bone more than the rise of the Wizards as a team everyone wants to rush and play with.
Again: it's nice to hear someone wants to play here, because it's rare. I'm just not sure how much it really means.