Should the Utah Jazz Trade Enes Kanter?


Now before I begin I believe I need to preface this by saying that I like Enes Kanter. I think he can be a productive player in this league and could even be a 20 point and 10 rebound a game type player. I do NOT think he should be traded if the Jazz are not receive something of value in return. Kanter should not be given away, but if there is a trade where the Jazz receive value in return should they trade him? However, the question remains, should the Utah Jazz trade Enes Kanter? With the Jazz recently stating they believe Derrick Favors is a center (C) leads me to think the writing is on the wall for Kanter to leave. In fact, I think they should trade him for several reasons. I don’t think he can be a successful power forward (PF) in the league. With the 5th pick the Jazz will most likely be in a position where the top few players are all bigs, making it difficult to provide minutes for everyone. I think the Jazz can improve long-term as a team by trading Kanter. And finally, he has simply been an average player at this point in his career and I think his trade value would drop the longer they wait.

Why Kanter is Not a Power Forward

I have argued recently with some fans in the comments section of a recent post, which can be found here. In these discussion I some fans have stated that Kanter can in fact play PF, he can be a beast on offense, and his defense really is not that bad. First off let me take on the argument that he can play PF by giving a simple explanation on the difference between a PF and C. A center is a player who plays with their back to the basket. They are post players and typically strong rebounders and defenders. Even though the NBA is increasingly going with smaller lineups the C still needs to have some size. Offensively though a C is a post up player. PF is a position where they can post up, but will also need the ability to hit jump shots and be able to take the ball to the rim from about 10-15 feet and in. Kanter simply does not have the foot speed to take anyone to the rim. He does have a jump shot, but without being able to get to the rim a defender will be all over him to take away the jump shot if he does hit it a few times. He just does not have the athletic ability to compete at a higher level at the PF position.

Kanter can be a beast on offense. You will not get much of an argument from me on this one. I think he can be an excellent offensive player in the league. He plays below the rim, which results in too many of his shots being blocked, but as I stated earlier I think he can be a 20/10 player. That is solid.

The problem is he simply cannot defend. Some tried to state that he is not a terrible defender. Well, the numbers say otherwise. For this I will use the PER statistic. If you don’t know what that statistic is you can get a brief description here. I will only say this the average is set at 15, a score of 16.5 = 3rd option, 18 = solid 2nd option, 20 = borderline All-Star, 22.5 = Bonafide All-Star, 25 = Weak MVP candidate, 27.5 = Strong MVP candidate, 30 = Runaway MVP candidate, and 35 = Historically great season. The argument against the PER is that it highly favors offensive players while discriminating against defensive players that don’t contribute much offensively. However, since Kanter is an offensive player this should work in his advantage. It does not. His PER is 15.7, indicating he is an average player. Now 82games.com provides an excellent breakdown of Kanter when he plays C and when he plays PF. When playing C he has a PER of 16.3 and 15.1 when he plays PF. He is a little better when playing C, but not by much as both indicate average player. Now, when we look at the average PER of players Kanter is defending you see his struggles become apparent. When Kanter was defending a C they had an average PER of 20.1, indicating that Kanter made them look like borderline All-Stars. When Kanter defended a PF they posted an average PER of 27.7! That is to say Kanter made opposing PFs look like strong MVP candidates. That simply cannot happen if the Jazz ever want to be successful. Kanter was bad when defending C, but was atrocious when defending PF. Even if he improves his defense it would still be terrible. The Jazz simply cannot consistently be competitive with your PF being dominated in that way.

Draft

The NBA draft is quickly approaching. The Jazz currently have the 5th pick in the NBA draft. Assuming they keep the pick they will most likely be left with Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, and Julius Randle sitting at the top of their board. Now it is possible that Orlando passes on Dante Exum, leaving him available at 5, but I just don’t think that is going to happen given Exum’s upside and Orlando’s need for a point guard.

If Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Exum are in fact the first four players drafted I think the Jazz draft Vonleh. You could argue either Randle, or Gordon, but for the sake of argument I’m just going to say they take Vonleh. Now, the Jazz could keep Kanter this next season as Vonleh learns the NBA game, but that would leave Kanter as a free agent next summer and in a position where they most likely let him walk for nothing. They can resign him this summer, in which case they could hold off on trading him and play him as a backup C or starting PF, but if that happens I see his trade value quickly dropping. This summer may simply be the best time to trade him and receive the most value in return. If the Jazz draft Vonleh there simply isn’t enough minutes long-term to keep Favors, Kanter, Vonleh, and Rudy Gobert.

Long-Term

Assuming the Jazz do take Vonleh the question needs to be asked are the Jazz better with Vonleh or Kanter in five years? I believe they will be better with Vonleh. Vonleh has a better jump shot than Kanter, but Kanter is currently far better than Vonleh posting up. That is an aspect Vonleh is still developing and he made huge strides in his year at Indiana. Vonleh is also incredibly long (7’4″ wingspan) that will allow him to block or alter more shots. Vonleh is not great defensively, but he is solid. The combination of Vonleh and Favors could provide the Jazz with two bigs that can block shots and protect the paint. For me I don’t know how to even begin to describe how excited that would make me. I am sooooo tired of watching teams for years drive to the rim against the Jazz with no fear of having their shot blocked. Now having two players with that ability and then Gobert off the bench may leave the Jazz as the best post defensive team in the league. Also, many people believe Vonleh will have a Chris Bosh type career. Bosh may be the third wheel right now in Miami, and the brunt of a lot of jokes, but do not forget how great he was in Toronto. Bosh averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds his last season in Toronto. If that type of production can be had to go along with some defensive presence than sign me up. Kanter may have that potential offensively, but also cancels out his offensive production due to his defensive liability.

Kanter is an Average Player

I stated the PER for Kanter is average at 15.7. Another statistic that looks at the overall contribution of the player is the win share. Win share is a statistic that rates the value the player brings to the team by the number of wins they produce based on their contributions. Kanter has a win share of 2.2. Kanter was ranked 215 in win shares among all qualified players. Win shares is also broken down into offensive and defensive. For offensive he had a win share of 1.3, good for 182 among qualified players. For defense his win share was 0.9, god for 253 among active players. These numbers simply are not acceptable for someone who is supposed to be a “core” piece for the team.

Finally, the Jazz were actually better when Kanter was off the court. The Jazz averaged 103.2 points per 100 possessions with Kanter ON the court. When he was OFF the court they averaged 105.5 points per 100 possessions. In other words when Kanter, who is an offensive player, was not on the court the Jazz were actually 2.2 points better on offense. On defense with Kanter ON the court the Jazz gave up 115.7 points per 100 possessions. When he was OFF the court they gave up 109.3, or the Jazz were 6.4 points better on defense when Kanter was not in the game.

I know some people are going to think that Kanter is a beast and showed what he can be in a few games, such as when he posted 23 points and 22 rebounds against the Bobcats in 2013. Yes that is a great game posted by Kanter, but there is something called typical performance and maximal performance. What Kanter showed against the Bobcats (and a few other games) is maximal performance. That is a peak performance, but are infrequent. His typical performance would be his averages, which this season was 12 points 7.5 rebounds per game. That is ok, but not great. You want players with a high typical performance, when they have a high typical performance you can expect that type of performance night in and night out. Rather than hoping he can repeat his maximal performance, which just isn’t going to frequently happen.

I simply do not understand why so many fans are completely opposed to trading Kanter. If the Jazz are able to receive something of value in return why would you not want the Jazz to make a deal? Anything that can be done to improve the team long-term should be done if possible. This loyalty to Kanter simply because he has had a handful of solid games should not blind Jazz fans the fact that overall he has been average at best. The Jazz should shop Kanter around to see what type of value they can receive in return with him as part of the deal. If trading Kanter makes the Jazz better they should pull the trigger and trade him. If no team is willing to make a deal that benefits the Jazz then hold on to him and hope he somehow learns to jump higher, move faster, and not be so bad defensively.

Tags: Enes Kanter NBA Trade Utah Jazz

  • tck62

    IF the Jazz can package Kanter with the 5, 23, Warriors future #1 even a future Jazz protected #1, if they have to with the Cav’s, in order to get Wiggins they should do it in a New York second. You accumulate assets to use them to get a star.

    • fastfox1306

      I also agree with your perspective…if the jazz can land Wiggins, then I think giving all of the assets you mentioned is worth it. I think Wiggins will be a special player, but it may take 3 years to get there. As for Parker I think he’ll produce right away, but he’ll plateau after year 2. You cannot go wrong with any of the top 3 picks (barring injury of course) and I think the jazz should do everything in their power-aside from trading Favors-to attain one of them. The problem is I just don’t think any of the top 3 teams will give up their pick. The only scenario I see is Wiggins gets picked up by Cleveland or Milwaukee and Philadelphia is willing to move out of the top 3 for the right price.

      • polljc

        Giving up too much!

        • Brandon Dennis

          Giving up too much is all relative to what will happen. If Wiggins meets his potential and becomes a legitimate superstar then the Cavs asked for too little. If he doesn’t maybe he is still a very good player, but if he fails then it puts the Jazz back. I think Vonleh or Exum could be stars, maybe not to the same calibre as Wiggins, but stars nonetheless. That is the great thing about where the Jazz are and what they have done in previous years in having all these young talented players and multiple draft picks. The Jazz can greatly improve long-term if they make the right move, but we just won’t know for a few years.

          • tck62

            Brandon think of it like this, when was the last time a team built around a big won a title ? When Akeem was in Houston ? Sure Shaq won but he had Kobe, who wins titles and plays in the Finals ? Superstar wings like LeBron, Kobe, Jordan, Durrant etc. wings move you through the playoffs. Who’s the best centers in the game now days ? Howard, Gasol ? Hibbert maybe ? The game has changed. To succeed in this league and go far you need a superstar wing, the Jazz simply need to trade the farm to the Cav’s for Wiggins, remember they’re going to try to get LeBron to come back to Cleveland, they are the one team that might consider passing on Wiggins for a 4 a 5 or Exum.

          • Brandon Dennis

            A team built around a big won a title just a couple of days ago. Tim Duncan. And those championships with Shaq and Kobe? Those teams were built around Shaq. Plus let’s not forget that Kobe was unable to win another ring until Pau Gasol, another big came to the Lakers. LeBron has Bosh. In fact, what teams win championships that don’t have bigs that can dominate? Jordan is the only one I can think of.

            Don’t mistake the days of centers being over, to dominant centers are very rare. That is why Oden was drafted over Durant just recently. That is why Hakeem and Bowie were drafted over Jordan. They come around so infrequently that when teams have the chance to get a big that has the potential to dominate they don’t pass them up. That is why Vonleh has even been starting to get mentions of being a top 3 pick. Granted nobody really thinks it will happen, but teams are entertaining the idea because he is a skilled big man and they so rare. Just think about it. How many people are 7 feet tall? Very few, now how many of those 7 footers are athletic? Again, very few. Then how many of those athletic 7 footers are elite athletes? Again, very few. So if you have the chance to get the rarest of all dominant players in any major sport you simply take it.

            Now I’m not trying to say this is Vonleh, but what I’m saying is just because Wiggins could be dominant and because you see more dominant wings in the league (because they are much more common) does not mean that they are more valuable than bigs. In fact they are not. A dominant big can affect the game like no other player. The game is a lot easier for everyone else when players get wide open looks because they have to double and triple team a big. Then on defense they become easier when you know if your guy gets by you there is a rim protector to block or at least alter any shots inside the key. That is so valuable and so rare.

          • IDJazzman

            I will agree with you on the Wiggins analogy. Trade the farm for Wiggins. He is the only player considered in the top 3 that I would trade almost anything to get. Not Parker, or Embiid, but yes for Wiggins. Any combination of players and the 5th pick to Cleveland or possibly the Bucks if Cleveland don’t take Wiggins? The chance increased that Cleveland takes Wiggins with Embiid’s latest injury. Unfortunately, I don’t see the Jazz having what either of these teams want.

          • Brandon Dennis

            If Parker, Wiggins, Exum, and Vonleh are all gone by the time the Jazz draft I think you almost have to take a chance with Embiid at that point. Simply too much talent not to take a chance because if it does work out he could very well be the next dominant big man in the league.

            If not then you’re left with Randle or Gordon. I don’t think either makes the Jazz better long term since again, it would probably mean Kanter is gone. If not this season then next when he is a free agent.

          • IDJazzman

            After reading about Embiid’s injury it doesn’t look good. I don’t think Embiid has much of a NBA career ahead of him. Way, way to much risk with Embiid and I now think he will be available at 5, I didn’t this morning until learning about the details of his injury. I would much rather see the Jazz get anybody in the projected top 14 than Embiid at this point.

          • Brandon Dennis

            It is incredibly risky and an injury that has ultimately ended the careers of Yao Ming, Bill Walton, and Curtis Borchardt. There has also been players who have been able to overcome it in Illgauskas and Kevin McHale. Granted Illgauskas took about 4 years before he was able to stay on the court, but McHale never really had any more problems.

            It is a huge risk, but at the same time if he is available at 5 and Wiggins, Parker, Exum, and Vonleh are all gone it might be worth the risk. If he is able to overcome the injury it could be a historically huge steal. If he is unable to overcome the injuries then that sucks, but it might simply be worth taking a chance.

          • polljc

            Duncan?

          • Brandon Dennis

            The last team to win a championship built around a big man was just a few days ago. Tim Duncan and the Spurs. The thing is bigs will always be valued. Why? Because a top tier athletic big is extremely rare. Think about it, how many people grow to 7 feet tall? Very few. Then how many of those 7 footers have athletic ability? Very few, Then how many of those athletic 7 footers are great athletes? Very few. When you break that down that type of player comes around, what once in a decade? How many great wings have there been in the last decade? quite a few.

            Also when Shaq and Kobe won championships those were Shaq’s team. And don’t forget that when it became Kobe’s team he did not win a championship until they added Gasol. In fact look back across NBA champions. How many teams won a championship without a good big? Jordan is the only one I can think of.

            Then think of all the great bigs over NBA history. There aren’t many, there are far more wings. So if you have the chance to take a big who can be great they don’t pass it up.

          • tck62

            I’ve always looked at the Spurs as more being built around Popovich and the concept of team basketball than being built around Duncan.

          • Brandon Dennis

            You can’t build a team around a coach. The Spurs are clearly Duncans team. Every coach tries to incorporate a concept of team basketball, so isn’t it a bigger testament to Duncan that the Spurs were able to create that? Duncan is the heart and soul of that team. It is absolutely his team and built around him.

          • polljc

            I have been high on Vonleh but after doing some research on Randle, I came a way feeling he is college, Karl Malone incarnate (low post physical beast , post up scorer, runs well, no outside shot ghastly FT shooter and considered poor defender. Whether he can correct the flaws (perceived or real is another question) remains to be seen. Even if he can be a good defender and good FT shooter and develop a little bit of outside shooting would make home solid. Maybe he could do better and replicate much of Malones success. Maybe. ;)
            My fear with Vonleh is he may get a little more roughed up at first because he isn’t as physical and isn’t regarded by some as having a high B-ball IQ. He is still long, but raw.

          • Brandon Dennis

            Are you saying Malone was a poor defender? He was a 3 time defensive first team and 1 time defensive 2nd team. You can’t even say early on he was bad because that second team selection was in 1988. Malone also had a very good jump shot was a career 74% free throw shooter. I don’t think you have a good grasp on who Karl Malone was as a player.

            Unless you are comparing Randle to when Malone first came in to the league. Even then Malone was a good defender. He was a terrible FT shooter and did not have a jump shot, but that comparison really is not fair either. You can’t say they look the same coming out of college, so Randle will be similar to Malone. Karl Malone became Karl Malone because of his work ethic. His workouts were legendary. He didn’t just simply out work everyone, he made others who work hard look lazy. I remember Malone have to do hours worth of extra workout during training camp so he didn’t get OUT of shape. This is a time when many players are trying to get in game playing shape and Malone had to do extra to stay in the shape he was. That type of work ethic is incredibly rare. You can’t count on Randle having the same work ethic.

            It is also funny you mention Malone because David Locke and Chad Ford talked about how they saw some Malone in Vonleh.

          • polljc

            Comp to college.

      • Brandon Dennis

        I agree I don’t see any of the top 3 teams willing to trade out. I think the Cavs asking price would be something ridiculous considering reports earlier were they would consider it if they landed a Joakim Noah, or LaMarcus Aldridge. That is just stupid. The Bucks are sitting in a great position and I think have 0 intentions on trading their pick. The 76ers had a wholesale trade on their entire roster last season for the purpose of landing one of these top players. Why would they then trade away their chance to take one?

    • Brandon Dennis

      The biggest question I have with that deal is how good is Exum or Vonleh going to be? Either of them could be a star. So let’s say that Wiggins meets his full potential, Exum meets his full potential, and Vonleh meets his. Are the Jazz going to be a better team with Wiggins, or Exum/Vonleh plus whoever they get with those other picks and Kanter/whatever they would get in another trade?

      If that is the case I still think Wiggins is quite a bit better than either Exum of Vonleh, so I don’t think I would ever look back and regret the trade. However if the Jazz were to make that deal they had better be very certain that Wiggins will become a star, because if not it puts them back and makes it even more difficult to become a contender.

  • Angelo

    Draft Gordon or Randle. Then trade Kanter for Harrison Barnes. Warriors could use a another big. With Iggy there, Barnes is expandable. Starting lineup with this trade could be PG-Trey SG-Bruks or Hayward SF-Barnes PF-Aaron Gordon/Randle C-Favors…..A lot more potential than any line up with Kanter I think.

    • fastfox1306

      I like your trade mainly because both teams benefit…Barnes should be starting. Him and curry carried the warriors in the 13′ playoffs, where he came up huge so many times. I was kind of shocked when the Warriors signed Iggy because I thought it was a redundant pickup. To me they were trying to make a splash rather than a smart addition.

      If the jazz trade Kanter for Barnes, then I think that may make Hayward expendable (I hope not), though they could start Hayward at SG and Barnes at SF. I think Barnes is a stud. I like him a lot! He’s a super athletic wing who can defend and knock down the 3 from time to time. The only downside to this trade is Burks. I think Burks deserves to start, HOWEVER if he can buy into the 6th man mentality a la Ginobili that would be amazing!

      • Angelo

        If Hayward becomes expandable then just let him walk to Boston or sign and trade him…then start the Burks in the backcourt along Barnes, Favors, and any big we draft …I’m leaning towards Gordon tho

        • fastfox1306

          I don’t know if it was the pressure of the contract or the toll of losing or both, but Hayward’s shot was just off last year. If he gets his 3pt percentage to 40%, he could easily be averaging 20 ppg. Though he’s a great facilitator, he needs to play off-ball more. Burke needs to be running the offense 75% of the time he’s in the game. This should allow Hayward cleaner looks and cut his TO% down a bit. I think letting Hayward go is a mistake. I still think he has all-star capability in him, but he needs a better system to help bring that out of him. Here’s hoping Snyder can do that.

          • Brandon Dennis

            What killed Hayward is he simply is not a number 1 offensive option. Once teams starting keying on him he struggled. He could be a great 2nd or 3rd option because he can hit open shots, and facilitate. That is where Hayward has value. Great piece because he does so many different things well, just isn’t a go to player.

          • Steven Jaynes

            What too many forget is not only was Hayward suddenly the number one option which he hadn’t been throughout his NBA career, but really there was no real starting caliber PG for the early part of the season. Tinsley and JL III would probably be 3rd string at best around the league. When Burke did start the season there was an improvement in passing but his shooting was woeful, so still defences were able to concentrate on Hayward’s threat. Even though the PG play improved when Burke was on the floor, it was deliberate and slow, and too often too much of the shot clock was used up for the shot chances to be deemed good chances. At the very least Hayward needs defences to play honest by having the ball move quicker and a couple of players around him that are deemed threats by the opposition. If he has that his shooting percentage does up. We like to compare Hayward with George, but Paul George would have struggled under the same circumstances where the ball moves slow, and no shooters around him to take up some of the defensive attention.

          • Brandon Dennis

            Which is why I think if the Jazz can package Kanter and 23 to move up to draft Stauskas would be huge for the Jazz (assuming these rumors with Favors don’t happen). That way you have someone on the perimeter to keep teams honest. Not only does it force teams to take Stauskas into account, which takes pressure of Hayward, but also helps Burks, Burke, Favors, or anyone else on the floor. Having someone who can light it up from deep would be a huge gain for the Jazz.

        • Brandon Dennis

          If you let Hayward walk because you bring in Barnes you are essentially trading Kanter and Hayward for Barnes. That in no way makes the Jazz a better team. Especially if Barnes continues to struggle

      • Brandon Dennis

        I think Burks should be starting as well. Of all the players currently on the Jazz I think he is the only one who could potential be a star. He is one of the best in the league driving to the basket. What he isn’t is a threat from deep. His release changes when he shoots from 3. If Snyder can help with that and he is eventually able to develop his shot and become a threat how do you defend him? He can kill you off the dribble so now teams back off him, but if he can then make them pay by drilling 3′s it forces them to step defend him from behind the 3 and making it easier for him to drive.

        I don’t think Barnes is a stud. He was awful last season. Jackson was hammered for sticking with him and giving him minutes with how bad he was playing. He has potential, but I worry with what happened last season.

    • Brandon Dennis

      Barnes was horrible last season. He had a PER of 9.85. Maybe some of that was due to Iggy coming in, but Jackson stood by Barnes and kept giving him consistent minutes.

      I also worry about Randle in the NBA. He really struggled when being defended by long athletic defenders. There are a lot of those in the NBA. Plus he isn’t a very good defender, so if he does struggle offensively he doesn’t even make up for it on the other end. Gordon is a stud athlete and defender, but what the Jazz need is a go to offensive player. He simply cannot shoot. Maybe he develops a jump shot, but I don’t think he will ever be able to carry a team on his back offensively. That is why I like Vonleh. He is solid all around. Athletic enough to defend from 20 feet and in. Very long making it tough to shoot over. Has a very good jump shot and can hit the corner 3. Still needs to develop his post game, but made huge strides last season in that area.

  • Steven Jaynes

    I would not give on any of the so called core 5 just yet. For too long those players have suffered playing under an inept coach that could not develop a player, or run an offensive or defensive system that worked to teh talents that this squad possessed. I am not ready to say that any of the players that we have are all stars in waiting but I have always felt that Kanter is a potential 20/10 machine. Burks is probably the most natural scorer that we have, he doesn’t need anyone else to create for him. Hayward is our mister everything guy, and had he had a starting calibre PG to work with early on in the season he may have found his efficiency would have been higher last year. Favors is our most natural defender. Burke might never be a great PG but has the potential to be a good one. Each of these players has flaws in their game, but each one also has the potential to be very good at what they do, given belief by their coach and a role that plays to their strength. I think finally we have a head coach that believes in player development and that should benefit all of the players on the roster. I would be loath to give up on Burks because I think at another club he could be a dangerous scorer. I would also be loath to give up on Kanter for a similar reason.

    I remember being frustrated week in week out at the defensive play of Jefferson, then he went to Charlotte and one of the worst defenses improved despite the addition of Big Al. A lot of defense is in coaching, and as much as I was frustrated with Big Al’s effort at times, I was more frustrated by the lack of a defensive game plan over three years when Corbin was at the helm. Our defense was plain ugly. As was our offense at times.

    The proposal to send Kanter, the 5th and the 23rd pick for Wiggins is too high a price in my opinion. For a start it would create a giant hole. If Favors is a center, and Kanter is no longer here we essentially would have no PF. I would much rather keep the 5th pick to ourselves and propose the 23rd and Kanter to get another pick in the top 10. With the front office preaching defense I would then draft Gordon to be our rock alongside Favors, if his jump shot ever kicks in and he seems determined to improve here I think he could be the steal of this draft but for the moment his offense is plenty good enough for alley oops, dunks and a few jump shots, which combined with his defensive capabilities would make a very nice addition to the Jazz squad. I’m not totally sold on Vonleh yet, he has skills, but he also has an ugly release, if his confidence were to get dented in the big man’s game I have to wonder if he would have to rework that release and if he could recover from that. He has the potential to be a nice player in the league but he also has bust potential too.

    • Brandon Dennis

      I only say trade one of the 5 if they become a better team because of it. With the Jazz saying Favors is a center I don’t think Kanter fits in with the team. He simply is not a power forward. He does not have the foot speed to defend power forwards. His offensive game is in line with what you want with a center as well. If Jazz still saw Favors as a power forward then I think they could coexist, but if they are going to play Kanter at power forward they are going to struggle.

      I agree a lot of the defensive problems were due to poor coaching. The players looked lost on defense like they didn’t know what they were supposed to do. That was on Corbin. The simple inability of Kanter to defend power forwards however, was not the fault of Corbin. Once Corbin moved Favors to center whenever he tried to play Kanter at power forward it was ugly. Kanter was getting beat so easily, which either resulted in an easy bucket or other players, such as Favors, having to rotate over leaving a dump off pass for an easy basket. If Kanter was the only poor defender you might be able to hide him next to Favors (similar to Big Al, or Dirk when they had Tyson Chandler, which finally made them title contenders) but right now Burke is also a poor defender, Hayward is ok, Burks is ok, and even Favors defensive numbers were only ok last season. Granted Favors is a very good defender, but when you have to guard 4 guys every possession it makes it tough.

      If Wiggins meets his potential is Kanter, 5, and 23 really too high? Wiggins has future MVP calibre type potential. You simply cannot overpay for a true superstar because you don’t win championships without one. Plus Wiggins wouldn’t just be an offensive star, but a lock down defender. If he doesn’t meet his potential it is too high as there will be excellent prospects available at 5 and solid prospects at 23. Maybe Kanter gets a pick around 10 by himself. Chad Ford said yesterday on the David Locke podcast Burke would garner a pick around 9 or 10. I think Kanter would be similar. My dream scenario for the draft is the Magic take Smart, the Jazz take Exum, then trade Kanter and 23 to Boston (who are very open to a trade) for 6 and draft Vonleh.

      I like Gordon, but I don’t think he will ever be a go to offensive player. Stud defensively, but as bad as the Jazz were on defense last year a bigger need is a go to offensive player. Out of the bigs I think Vonleh offers the most potential all around. He is solid defensively, extremely long, has 3 point range now, and is athletic enough to defend people 20 feet from the basket. What he doesn’t have is a great post game, but made huge strides last season. Gordon and Favors would be a dynamic duo defensively, but neither strike any fear on offense.

    • Brandon Dennis

      Also, say the Jazz did trade Kanter, 5, and 23 for Wiggins. And let’s say for the sake of argument Kanter could play PF, there still may not be a hole at PF. Let’s not forget the Jazz have been looking into the possibility of bringing over Tomic. He has been playing well in Europe. If he came over you’d have your PF.

      • tck62

        Don’t fall asleep on Jeremy Evans, if he works as hard on his game this off season as last, he’s liable to come into camp and take the 4 spot for himself.

        • Brandon Dennis

          That is true, but Evans is not a player to come in and play extended minutes. He is too small to take the pounding he would take over the course of the season playing starters minutes. Evans is a good come in and play 15-20 minutes a game type of player. More than that I think he becomes ineffective at the end of the season from being worn down.

  • fastfox1306

    Thinking outside the box here….3-team trade scenario once free agency hits. Lets assume the jazz draft Gordon and the Celtics draft Smart or Exum (if he’s there). Once free agency begins, this trade goes down:

    Jazz receive:
    -Roy Hibbert

    Celtics receive:
    -Gordon Hayward

    Indiana receive:
    -Rajon Rondo

    Then the jazz can unload Kanter for Harrison Barnes, giving them a lineup of:

    PG – Burke
    SG – Burks
    SF – Barnes
    PF – Favors
    C – Hibbert

    Bench:
    6th – Gordon
    Evans
    Gobart
    Neto
    Garrett
    Rookies/FA pickups to fill roster

    This just popped in my head, please don’t crucify me, just an idea. I don’t want to lose Hayward, but Barnes helps ease the loss. Also picking up Hibbert allows Favors to slide to his natural position and gives the jazz a hell of a defensive frontcourt in Barnes, Favors and Hibbert. If teams try to go small on us, then you move Favors or Hibbert at 5 and slide Barnes or Gordon to PF. The bench is still extremely thin though and it puts a ton of pressure on Burks and Barnes to score.

    • Brandon Dennis

      haha I won’t crucify you. All opinions are welcome because at this point all we can do is speculate. My only problem with Hibbert is what happened to him at the end of the season and in the playoffs. There were rumors of things happening behind the scenes, which if he was able to take care of or overcome and gets back to his old self then it would be interesting. The Jazz though have said they see Favors as a center rather than power forward. So they don’t see him at all playing out of position or that his natural position is power forward.

      I would also be concerned about having enough offense with this roster. A lot would depend on how Burks develops under Snyder. I personally think he can be a stud if he can fix his release on his 3 point range and add that as a weapon. After that who scores? Burke maybe improves and adds something, Hibbert does give you something down low, Barnes was terrible last season so a lot depends on how he bounces back this season. The bench however has nobody that can come in and provide offense. Interesting idea though

  • IDJazzman

    I am not opposed to the Jazz trading any player if it makes the team better in the long run. What I do want the Jazz to do, is to receive max value for value. Kanter has not had the opportunity to flourish under the old regime. He got a lousy start last season for two reasons, which skewed his numbers. First, the first 16 games the Jazz had no PG with Kanter starting. Kanter also was recovering from an injury that was not a small injury. He had surgery on a dislocated shoulder, which is a serious injury to recover from. Never had the opportunity to build his strength last summer or really work on a lot of his skills. Kanter is a ways from reaching his potential and to trade him at this juncture is just short sighted. This coming year, he will do much better and then the Jazz can get much more on a trade in the future with him, if it appears he doesn’t fit into the system. I think Synder will be much better at making Kanter and Favors mesh together. Trading him now would be like buying high and selling low. As far as comparing numbers, it would have been interesting had the numbers been compared to other 22 year old centers in the league, only.

    • Brandon Dennis

      That is all I am trying to say. If the Jazz can become better by trading Kanter then do it. I simply think they can easily be better because he can’t play PF and they want Favors to play C. That makes him expendable. If nobody wants to give them anything of value then wait let him play PF and see how he does. If he succeeds, and I hope he does, then great. If not maybe you run the same risk you did with Hayward. Either sign him during the offseason or he becomes a RFA and you may lose him for nothing.

      Ibaka had a win share of 6.2 when he was 22 (his 3rd season), which was actually down from when he was 21. Paul Milsap had a win share of 5.2 when he was 22 (his 2nd season). LaMarcus Aldridge had a win share of 9.5 when he was 22 (his 3rd season). Carlos Boozer had a win share of 9.4 at age 22 (his 2nd season). Dirk had a win share of 14.6 at age 22 (his 3rd season). Zach Randolph had a win share of 7.1 at age 22 (his 3rd season). Blake Griffin had a win share of 9.8 at age 22 (his rookie season). Elton Brand had a win share of 7.6 at age 22 (his 4th season).

      Is that enough for you? Some of those players such as Dirk may not be fair a fair comparison since he will almost certainly be a Hall of Famer, but the others aren’t anything special at this point. The rest are all solid players, but if Jazz fans want to say Kanter is going to be a stud he needs to be compared to other great players.

      You are right in that his injury and lack of a PG at the beginning of the season hurt him. But, it only hurt him on offense. His defense is the biggest reason I think he can’t play PF. He can’t defend the PFs in the league and the Jazz don’t have enough defenders to cover up his inabilities, nor is he good enough offensively at this point to warrant dealing with his poor defense. With Dirk or Al Jefferson you know you are going to get 25 points a game, so it makes sense to keep them and try to build a defense around them. It does not for Kanter.

      • IDJazzman

        My point is the Jazz cannot get Kanter’s real value at his time. Maybe at some point in the on coming season his value will rise, but if that happens my guess is we will read headlines about how amazing it is that Kanter has turned his game around and the Jazz should now keep him. Teams don’t usually don’t give valuable assets away for a player that does not have great numbers. Yes, of course trade Kanter if the Jazz can get a good player, but what team is going to offer something good for something that everyone else sees as a defensive liability. Whatever the Jazz can get in return will probably have less potential than what Kanter has.

        • Brandon Dennis

          Will you get real value for Kanter if you hold on to him and he shows the same defensive capability and just gets smoked over and over and over again? You are putting all of your eggs in the basket of he will dominate on offense and teams will overlook how bad he is on defense because he scores so much. Very few bigs are able to score at that rate.

          Kanter does not have great numbers, but as you said in your first post he is only 22. I think that other teams give him a bit of a break and still look at him as potential. Teams will pay for potential. If you wait and he has another season like last year you then get next to nothing in return.

          You can’t say they won’t get his real value because you don’t know what his real value is. His real value may be average scorer and great offensive rebounder, but below average defensive rebounder and a terrible defender. If that is his true value (that is what he has shown thus far in his career) then trading him now allows the Jazz to get more than his value. If trading him and getting the 10 pick, and drafting Stauskas who keeps teams honest and opens up the court, then even if Kanter becomes a 20/10 player it was still a good trade because he will still be a terrible defender. I know people say you can surround him with good defenders and it will hide him, but unless he is a dominant big (which I don’t think he will be) then why go through all the trouble of surrounding him with defenders? Dirk is the only big I can think of that is a bad defender whose team has ever accomplished much. And that wasn’t until they did hide his defensive liabilities behind Chandler because Dirk was one of the best scorers in the league. Kanter is not.

          • IDJazzman

            I think where we disagree is, you really don’t think Kanter will improve, while I do and I believe he will improve a lot this season, especially under Synder. I mention it again, surgery on a dislocated shoulder is not a small thing. It takes a year for most players to come back to full strength from that severe of injury. Kanter defensive strength is his body strength, which he was not at full strength this past season, and his defensive presence will be best used against the more physical and stronger centers in the game. If Vonleh is drafted by the Jazz, who I hope the Jazz do draft, if Exum is not there at 5, then Kanter will be gone eventually, as Vonleh is able to become a starter. I am in favor of trading Kanter if the Jazz have Vonleh or Randle and they prove to be keepers themselves, but now? If the Jazz could get a top 10 pick with Kanter go for it, heck why not go for Durant for Kanter! I don’t think there are any teams interested in Kanter at that price, right now.

          • Brandon Dennis

            I actually completely agree with that. I said I think Kanter can become a 20/10 player, which is a big improvement of what he is now. Yes he will be better offensively now that he is so far removed from his shoulder injury. Yes defensively he is best suited to defend against big strong centers. That however is the problem. Kanter would no longer be playing center. The Jazz have stated that they like Favors at center. That puts Kanter playing power forward or backup. He isn’t unable to guard power forwards and if he is only going to be a backup then trade him. Packaging Kanter with the 23 pick could potentially give them another lottery pick. Depending on who is available that could be extremely valuable. If they get Vonleh at 5 then a shooter such as Stauskas the Jazz improved at power forward and added someone who can spread the floor.

          • IDJazzman

            The interesting thing with Favors and Kanter is, they do compliment each other’s game if used as Hybrids. Favors game is almost as bad offensively as Kanter’s is defensively, right now. I think Favors should be playing the PF position on defense with Kanter guarding the center position, then they switch and Favors plays the center on the offensive end and Kanter plays the PF position and pull Kanter farther away from the basket to open the middle. I think Snyder will give Kanter the green light this year for him to take more outside shots, unless he is traded. We shall see??

          • Brandon Dennis

            Having them switch who takes who is possible, but is not as easy as you would think. In the flow of a game it can be challenging to pick up someone new while paying attention to the game. Again though it is possible, but will result in easy baskets for the other team on occasion, especially early in the year.

            If the Jazz keep Kanter I will not be mad in any way. I simply think the are in a position in the draft where they are going to be drafting a PF, which then takes Kanter out of the picture long-term anyways, even if he could play PF.

            If they draft Exum then I simply think Kanter is unable to play PF. Just look at last season. Yes Corbin was not a good coach and some of the blame is on him, but Favors and Kanter were awful together on the court. Because of that I think they should explore trade options. If there is value there make a trade. If not I have no problem seeing what happens. It is not like the Jazz are going to light it up next year anyways.

            My whole basis for saying they should trade Kanter is I think they could improve the team long term with the right deal, such as Kanter and 23 for the 10 pick and taking Stauskas. If the Sixers don’t want to make the trade or anyone that would make the Jazz better than Kanter+whoever is drafted 23 is no longer available then keep Kanter and see how it goes with Snyder.

  • brock trease

    i have read a lot of your guys articles and your break down of how kanter isn’t athletic. you use all these defensive numbers to quantify that he is not athletic. those kind of numbers do not work it shows he doesn’t understand how to play defense. if you want to measure athletic ability sight numbers that do that. i think people are missing on kanter it isn’t athletic ability at all but lack of athletic knowledge i think he has bad habits as an athlete and he needs to be taught good ones by the way he has taken people of the dribble.

    • Brandon Dennis

      How does that show he doesn’t understand defense? If, after three years he doesn’t even understand the concept of defense then he is just lazy and didn’t take the time to learn. He is simply a terrible defender who has average athletic ability for a center. Now he is going to play power forward where they are even better athletes? What makes you say he is athletic? He doesn’t look athletic when he plays his numbers from the draft combine suggest average athletic ability for a center. So what makes you say it is all due to bad habits and if he fixes those bad habits he will be a good defender?

      Kanter doesn’t take people off the dribble. He uses his big frame and backs them down

  • Diggin’ it

    Hopefully we get Exum or Parker to fall to us.

    • Brandon Dennis

      That would be sweet, too bad that is almost guaranteed not to happen now with the Embiid injury.

  • James Clawson

    I think that there should be no untouchable players on the Jazz roster this year. I liked the Burke pick originally last year but he is only ever going to be good, he has average athleticism and is very small. If the Jazz could find a way to get Exum or Smart at 5 move pieces to get back into the top 10 and get Vonleh we would drastically be a better team in a year or two.

    I also think that it is time for Hayward to play elsewhere, whether he walks in FA or we do a sign and trade. Bringing in someone like Evan Turner in FA or moving up to select a James Young type player with the 23rd will give you the same thing for much less money. I also think that with 35 we should target 2 players:

    Damien Inglis from France

    Thanasis Antetokounmpo from Greece

    Both these players are young and have potential to be studs. ( Nicolas Batum )

    • Brandon Dennis

      You have pretty much read my mind, except I wouldn’t take Smart if Exum was off the board I would take Vonleh. But then maybe the 23 pick and Burke gets you high enough for Smart. My dream scenario is Magic take Smart 4th, Jazz take Exum and trade Kanter and 23 to Celtics for 6 and draft Vonleh. The problem is with the Embiid injury the minimal chance of that happening is pretty much zero at this point.

      I also think they should look at Evan Turner for FA. He is a very talented player and is still young. Maybe a change of scenery and no expectations would do him well. It’s worth the chance since he should come relatively cheap.

      I definitely think for one of their picks they will draft a European. It is already a young team so bringing in 3 rookies may be a bit much.

  • Cody Douglas

    trade Sign hayward Your 2 1st round draft picks to move up to 1and draft Wiggins I love parker But wiggins has a lot more upside

    • Brandon Dennis

      You can’t sign Hayward until July when free agency opens. And then you could only do a sign and trade.

  • Randy Cabrera-Champagne

    Kanter is only 22. Twenty – Two ! He never went to college ( where you learn defensive fundamentals ). The NBA isn’t a teaching league when it comes to fundamentals. With so many guys entering the league with only 1 college season is it a surprise the D and fundamentals in the NBA isn’t what it used to be ? Kanter went for nearly 14 and 7 as a 22 year old. Larry Bird wasn’t athletic and he had an ok career