NBA draft profile: SG Furkan Korkmaz


Furkan Korkmaz

Position: Shooting guard

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 185 pounds

Team: Anadolu Efes

There are very few sure things in the NBA draft. The entire process is really all about potential. Teams attempt to take a player's production at their current level — however big or small — and project how that will transfer to the NBA game with the additional tools franchises can provide.

That projection of potential will certainly be the case for Furkan Korkmaz, who has yet to make a significant mark overseas at just 18 years old.

If you're a Sixers fan and have been watching the growth of prized international prospect Dario Saric, chances are you have come across Korkmaz. They play on the same Anadolu Efes club in Turkey, with Korkmaz coming off the bench. But don't blink or you'll miss Korkmaz. He has averaged just 11.3 minutes in 59 games this season.

In that limited playing time, however, Korkmaz has displayed the agility, ball handling and knock-down shooting to have organizations dreaming about what he can do in the NBA after a couple extra years of seasoning.

The first thing you notice about Korkmaz is his size. At 6-foot-7, he has the ability to see action develop over top of defenders and shoot over opponents when calling his own number. 

Even with that size, Korkmaz is far from the old and untrue stereotype of slow-footed European players. He has the skills to handle the ball in the halfcourt and the playmaking ability to push the break. Plus, Korkmaz has plenty of bounce to his game. Just check out this reverse slam in a Darth Vader costume during the Turkish Basketball League dunk contest.

While all of those things are bonuses, the real reason scouts have been drawn to Korkmaz is his shooting. He can drain jump shots from just about anywhere on the court. He also uses that 6-7 frame and strong form to get off contested shots over helpless defenders.

Despite averaging just 4.2 points in his two seasons with Anadolu Efes, Korkmaz has shot 41.0 percent from three-point range in that span. That hot long-range shooting was also the case with a much bigger workload last summer during the FIBA U19 world championship when he connected on 45.2 percent from three-point range to be named to the all-tournament team and help Turkey capture the bronze medal.

Korkmaz's height is a huge advantage, but his lack of bulk is the exact opposite. He will need to fill out his frame significantly if he wants to survive the banging that comes along with an 82-game NBA schedule.

Perhaps Korkmaz's weight also has something to do with his hesitance in the lane at times. He tends to opt for floaters in the paint sometimes when he has the athleticism to finish through contact.

In addition to his weight, there are also concerns about Korkmaz's defense at the NBA level. He's not necessarily a bad defender, but he does get beat at times. That will only be multiplied when going from his level of competition now to defending the likes of shooting guards such as Klay Thompson, James Harden and Jimmy Butler.

How he'd fit with the Sixers
The Sixers have been in desperate need of outside shooting for several years now and Korkmaz could provide that. The team has certainly had one of the better looks at him while studying Saric. Taking a flier on Korkmaz at No. 24 or No. 26 with the intent to let him stay overseas for a while and improve wouldn't be a bad idea. Although the last Furkan from Turkey the Sixers had on their roster didn’t work out so well.

NBA comparison
While Korkmaz has some of the herky-jerky fakes and motions with a flair on some of his passes that look similar to a younger Manu Ginobili, I'm not ready to link him to the future Hall of Famer. I'll go with another international import in Marco Belinelli. They can both get off their shot from different angles and are dangerous from long range, but could be liabilities on defense.

Draft projection
Late-teens to early-20s. Korkmaz is a clear draft-and-stash prospect. The team that selects him will have its mind looking toward the future.

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