Not forgotten, Furkan Aldemir impresses Sixers' brass


In Sixers power forward Furkan Aldemir's rookie campaign, he didn't exactly impress as a 23-year-old Turkish prospect slotted to add frontcourt minutes off the bench.

Aldemir was acquired in a 2013 trade with the Houston Rockets that sent him and Royce White to the Sixers. Aldemir arrived one year later after inking a four-year, $11 million deal that's guaranteed in 2015 with a team option for the final two seasons.

His rebounding was always his strongest facet, though the rest of his game lacked the necessary qualities to label him anything higher than a marginal NBA prospect at best. His minutes and overall production in 2014 reflected that.

But Aldemir has approached this offseason with more of a reckless abandon.

This is an ideal scenario for him with head coach Brett Brown and the Sixers' staff because of the high emphasis on player development. It's also important that he has a full summer with the organization, as opposed to last year when he began the 2014 season in Turkey and didn't join the team until December.

He was even working on his corner three-pointer post practice Sunday. 

"First off, since the season's ended, [Aldemir] has put a lot of work in," Sixers director of player development and assistant coach Billy Lange said Sunday. "Both he and Jerami Grant and other guys as well. But as it pertains to this summer league team, those guys have been here within weeks of our last game against Miami.

"And [Aldemir's] motor, just look at his body, he looks leaner and in better physical condition."

Aldemir has been working with assistant coach Sean Rooks to develop more of an all-around game. Lange said he's still an asset with rebounding and nothing's changed in that capacity.

He noted Aldemir and Grant will be beneficial in leading the young summer league squad. It's also the coaching staff's first chance to observe both players' offseason adjustments.

"Our expectations organizationally are that they lead," Lange said. "That they show they have the experience. I know that sounds like a blanket answer but it's true. They can educate these guys on NBA rules and pace. 

"The second thing is, because they've worked so hard, which I've alluded to, I want to see them experiment on the things they've been working on."

They're definitely expecting big things from Aldemir this summer. 

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