Enes Kanter just wants to play some ball. Somewhere.

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Last hoops season, Enes Kanter left his native Turkey to test himself against the best American college had to offer and enrolled at Kentucky. Then the ever-so-evenhanded NBA (remember the head of Miami was head of the infractions committee a couple years ago) told him he could not play because he had played for a professional program in Turkey.

So he leaves and enters the NBA draft, where size and raw skill seems a siren song to GMs. The Utah Jazz drafted him No. 3 overall, and he was off on his NBA adventure.

For seven days. Then the lockout. Needless to say, Kanter told the Deseret News he was a little frustrated.

“It’s easy for me to say that I am the unluckiest guy ever. I couldn’t play in college, and right now there is the lockout. The only thing I can do is just wait,” said Kanter…

“I haven’t played in almost two years and it’s hard within that time to go from not playing to being ready for games,”? Kanter added.

Just for the record, there are far more unlucky people in the world. Many more.

Kanter is playing now with Turkey in EuroBasket (the 2012 Olympics qualifying Tournament for Europe). Even his own coach said Kanter seems a little “lost in space,” struggling to find his spots on the court and get in a good rhythm. Which is what we should expect from a guy with a couple years off.

We told you about a fantastic breakdown of Kanter based on the early Turkey tune-ups. In isolation situations at both ends — offense and defense — he showed some skill and promise. But when it came to the team aspects of the game (passing out of the post on the double-team, help defense) he looked lost. That is what the Jazz coaching staff is going to have to teach. But if he learns he could be good.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.