|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Turkish C Dusan Cantekin||06.22.12 at 6:52 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Team: Mega Vizura (Serbia)
Weight: 255 pounds
Achievements: Member of the Turkish national team
Key 2011-12 stats: 11.4 points, 7.2 rebounds
What he brings: Possessing an incredible size of 7-foot-4, Cantekin is naturally a towering figure and would be the tallest player in the NBA. But despite his large size, he has much to improve on to be a formidable NBA center on both ends of the floor. Offensively, his game is far from polished. He shoots a high percentage around the rim but he doesn’t use his size to his advantage, isn’t very aggressive and doesn’t have great footwork.
Cantekin is very quick for his size, however, and can often beat other big men down the floor in transition. Much of his offense, though, comes via designed lob plays. With no one really close to his size, it’s easy for him to score and his size allows it so that he barely has to jump to score. His jump shooting can improve and he sometimes chooses to take his man off the dribble to get to the basket as well.
Despite his 7-foot-4 frame, Cantekin doesn’t block many shots, averaging less than a block per game last year in the Serbian league. Defense is clearly the area Cantekin needs to work on drastically if he wants to be successful in the NBA. He gets pushed around inside and possesses poor defensive fundamentals, which makes him susceptible to foul trouble.
Where the Celtics could get him: Cantekin is projected to be selected in the mid-to-late second round and could fall to the Celtics at 51.
Notes: Cantekin was born as Dusan Gavrilovic and became a member of the Turkish national team by receiving a passport after being ignored by Serbian youth leagues. He signed a Euroleague contract with Anadolu Efes but has been on loan from his home country at Mega Vizura. Cantekin is eligible to be drafted this year as he is a 1990-born draft-eligible international prospect.
Video: Here’s Cantekin finishing a pick-and-roll alley-oop.