(First posted at RealGM)
647 minutes. That’s the playing time Furkan Korkmaz logged in 56 appearances for Turkish giant Anadolu Efes last season. The reason is simple: the 18-year-old teenager is not yet physically developed to earn a consistent spot in the rotation of a team that is seeking wins, and lots of them.
Korkmaz has a skinny 185-pound frame in the context of his six-foot-eight height. Lacking any sort of strength and physicality, he’s a massive liability on defense at this point of his development. Korkmaz can’t contain dribble penetration through contact, gets bullied in the post and doesn’t contribute with steals or defensive rebounds. According to our stats database, Efes allowed 111 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.
He also hasn’t managed to play with much force on offense either, lacking burst to get by his man in isolation and turning the corner out of the pick-and-roll. Korkmaz has showcased rather impressive athleticism throwing down some impressive dunks in workouts and in the Turkish League All-Star Game but does not play that way in actual games at this point, never getting to the rim in the first place and then never displaying any explosiveness attacking rim protection with power in the few times he does get there.
But Korkmaz is assured to get drafted in the first round due to his combination of height and skill level.
In the pros, he’s only been a weak-side shooter, though a damn good one – converting 40.8% of his 181 three-point shots over the last two seasons. Korkmaz doesn’t get much elevation off the ground but fully extends himself and has good length, so he can get his shots off comfortably against a contest. His mechanics are also excellent, dipping the ball for rhythm and turning his body in the air.
But in the junior ranks, Korkmaz also proved himself capable of shooting on the move and, more importantly, creating for himself and others off the dribble. As mentioned above, he can’t blow by anyone and his handle isn’t all that solid but it’s decent enough for him to go side-to-side in straight isolations and snaking the pick-and-roll to generate mid-range jumpers. Korkmaz also flashed the ability to pass out of dribble penetration relatively well, as his height allows him to see over the defense in traffic.
Drafting him represents a 50-50 proposition. He’s proven himself to be a sick shooter but if his body doesn’t develop, he’s probably unplayable at the NBA level. But if it does (keep in mind he’s about turn 19) and makes it more reasonable for him to be hidden on defense, all of a sudden you have a tall shooting guard who provides flexibility on offense – and those tend to get drafted a lot higher than where Korkmaz is projected to go next week.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara