who has the bigger upside---Pekovic or Kanter?
Pekovic was a monster last year but he's just warming up. Kanter barely played but he's put the work in this offseason and looks ready to be unleased like the Greek God that he is.
Who do you got?
I'm going with kanter. He's 5 years younger and his per 38 numbers last year were 12 points and 12 rebounds, which is really impressive for a guy that hadn't played basketball for 2 years and without a training camp and barely a preseason. But pekovic is the better player right now Nd can be a really good center
This is a very interesting question, and I think it comes down to conditioning for Pekovic, and toughness for Kanter.
Although Pekovic was very effective last season, he did miss games with injury and if his body is going to hold up to the strain of a full NBA season he'll need to improve his stamina. Also, he wasn't a great defender from what I saw, and increasing his mobility should help him on that end too. However, he's got great strength and touch inside, and seems to love playing bully-ball, which is something a lot of modern Cs shy away from.
Kanter on the other hand has the physique and mobility to play big minutes, but his potential as a low-post scorer is questionable, he seems to struggle against longer defenders and hasn't yet grasped how to use his size and strength to create room in the post. His footwork is respectable, but he lacks that intuitive feel for where his man is, instead going into a set move almost robotically. His Turkish coach seems to be under the impression he's best served as a jump-shooter, but although he's athletic for a guy with that build, it's hard to see him playing the PF position, and Bargnani has shown that being a jump-shooter at the C position isn't particularly effective.
To be honest, I don't think either will be a star in the NBA, but Pekovic can be a better scorer on the post and be more valuable to a playoff team if he addresses his weaknesses.
Kanter definitly put in the work this offseason. I LOVE to see NBA players taking pride in their craft. I have no clue if all his hard work will translate into increased production this season. I watched about 10 games where Kanter played last year and he was lost on offense. Too often he would get the ball and panic with it for a forced shot or fumble around the entry pass. Chalk it up to nerves in a rushed season he couldn't properly prepare for. I expect Kanter to be more settled this year but by how much? One thing Kanter did do well was rebound.
Kevin Love went on record as saying Pekovic was a monster in their first few practices this year. I read Pekovic lowered his body fat from 12 to 8 percent and he is a massive body. Pekovic also played solidly on offense against just about every center in the league last year. I believe Pekovic can be a center who will get you points when you need them and late in games and his FT shooting is pretty respectable. This is something I'll be shocked if Kanter can do this year... even with playing time. Pekovic also has a size and strength advantage over just about every center in the league and he loves to bang inthe post. This is helpful for drawing fouls on opposing centers who are just too small to properly defend is size.
Pekovic should get 30-35 minutes a game and Kanter will be lucky to get 20 with Jefferson, Millsap and Favors ahead of him.
Lastly if we're being honest, PG play is extremely important to a centers production. When Rubio returns he should be able to get Pekovic a few extra opportunites every game which should further pad his stats. This is something Kanter's PG's might not be capable of or even want to do if they don't trust his production in post up situtations.
It should be interesting to see who runs the floor better seeing as how both have had very effective offseason training programs.
As for the posters question. I'd be willing to bet Pekovic has the better year this season. Kanter is still too young in all facets IMO. If we're looking 4-5 years down the road... I have no clue. Kanter has all the tools to be a very effective 2 way player in the future (including work ethic). Pekovic seems like he's getting close to already being there. Time will tell but Pekovic over Kanter at the moment.
Love the question.
Pek also has the perfect kind of complimentary (sp?) power forward to play off him in Kevin Love. Love can give a ton of space for Pek to operate down low.
I really think we need another year before determining who has bigger upside. Even though I expected Pek to outplay Darko and get serious minutes last year, his 2010-2011 season wasn't too promising. This could be a similar to start to Kanter's career as last year wasn't fantastic, only he has Al Jefferson playing in front of him instead of Darko.
Great topic though.
You do realize that darko doesnt play in minnesota anymore right? he signed with the celtics bro
To me, you have to go with Kanter here. Many people have brought up good points as to why. Kanter is 5 years younger. He is much stronger than Pek, and a much better rebounder overall.
To me, Kanter is almost ready to be a starter in the NBA. With a bit more polish added to his offensive game, Kanter and Derrick Favors could bring a tremendous youth movement into effect in Utah.
Stronger than Pek? No. I don't think anyone in the league is stronger then that giant.
Also, I don't think he's shown he's a better rebounder either. And seeing how Pek has proven that he can consistently score by outmuscling his defenders, I'm taking Pekovic in this topic for now. One day I have a feeling that Kanter will pass him though since he is still quite young.
Did you say Kanter is MUCH stronger than Pek? Pek is arguably the strongest player in the nba. There is no one who is stronger than him, let alone MUCH stronger.
I would take him, he has come into camp with way better conditioning and believe it or not more strenght. He is the one that is leading the conditioning drills, he has put as much work as anybody this summer. IMO he is one of the stongest players in the NBA. He can push around alot of centers in the league, and holds his own with the top, he may not stop them all on defense, but they don't stop him either. He not only has a very impressive offensive game, but his Basketball IQ is high and he picks up things very quick. I expect him to have a more complete game this season, and move up on center ranks.
It's close. Kanter would have to improve dramatically on offense to get to where Pekovic is. I'll go with Kanter though because he has the quicker feet which will help him get to more boards and rotate better on defense. He's also more athletic overall, which means he'll be able to play at any tempo and won't have as much trouble changing ends. Kanter's footwork isn't bad at all in the paint. I think he just tends to rush his shots. If/when the game slows down for him I think he'll become a better finisher. Overall, Pekovic might always be the better scorer and low post option but Kanter will be able to score as well in his own ways while also being the better defender and rebounder.