With the 26th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers have selected Furkan Korkmaz, an 18-year-old shooting guard who played for Anadolu Efes of the Turkish league last season.
Korkmaz is one of the several European prospects that were expected to be selected in the first round this year and one of the youngest players in the draft, as he won't turn 19 for another month. The 6'7 wing has some of the prototypical traits of international perimeter players, like a deadly jump shot and solid court vision. But he combines them with NBA-level athleticism, which makes him a solid selection at this range.
In many ways, he's reminiscent of last year's fifth overall pick Mario Hezonja, although he's not as explosive as the Orlando Magic's shooting guard. Both are long wing players who can shoot, but need to put on weight to improve their defense and driving game.
Korkmaz is willing to stay in Europe to develop further, which makes him a great pick for a team like the 76ers that doesn't have room in their roster to groom a raw young player. Anadolu Efes did a good job developing Dario Saric and should be a good place for Korkmas to continue to hone his game under legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic. In a year or two, he could be solid role player ready to contribute.
Korkmaz should be able to get on the court early in his NBA career thanks to his long range shooting ability. In his two years playing in the Euroleague, he's averaged over 40 percent from beyond the arc. He has a high release and at 6'7 he should be able to get his shot off against NBA defenders. It wouldn't be surprising to see him get minutes right away, considering the premium that is placed on floor-spacing nowadays.
His biggest weakness at this point is defense -- he doesn't have the strength to guard small forwards and small, quick guards can drive past him, even at the Euroleague level. To his credit, he realizes that area of his game needs work, as he told The Vertical's Jonathan Givonny:
"My weakness is defense," he told The Vertical. "It is hard in the Euroleague. Everyone is quick. Everybody is fast. Sometimes it is hard to guard them. Maybe that is the reason [for my inconsistent playing time]"
While it's true Korkmaz's role in the stacked Anadolu Efes is small, that doesn't mean he lacks experience. It's certainly impressive for an 18-year-old to have logged over 350 Euroleague minutes in two seasons. It's more than most international prospects that make the jump to the NBA can boast. There will be no need to teach him the game and his maturity should allow him to adjust easily to another league.
Korkmaz has youth on his side and already boasts some of the tools that could make him a good role player for years to come. Patience will be key with him, as he needs to improve his physique, but wings who can shoot and have a good feel for the game are always valuable.
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