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Stiffs NBA Draft series: Furkan Korkmaz

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After a couple impressive seasons playing in Europe Furkan Korkmaz is ready to take a step up to the NBA, bringing an explosive shooting game with him.

Boris Streubel/Getty Images

The Denver Stiffs will be covering all of the top prospects in the 2016 NBA Draft in our Stiffs NBA draft series. Check back daily for video, stats, and analysis of all the projected first round prospects.

Furkan Korkmaz

Stats (per game)

Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Turnovers Field Goal % Three Point %
2.7 0.9 0.5 01. 0.2 0.4 39.1 42.3

Strengths

Size/Athleticism: Standing at an unofficial 6'7 Korkmaz possesses ideal size to play shooting guard in the NBA. Whilst playing for Anadolu Efes he used his size effectively in the mid-range game and his size combined with a high release point enables him to get most shots he wants. Not only is Korkmaz good size for an NBA shooting guard but, as a former winner of the BSL's slam dunk competition, he possesses great athleticism too. Watching Korkmaz play you will see him use his athleticism effectively in transition.

Shooting: The hype surrounding Korkmaz the last couple of seasons has primarily been down to his effective shooting. Since 2013 (combining international and club games) Korkmaz has shot an impressive 39.1% from 3 (hitting 182-465 attempts). He has a high release point which he uses to great effect, in the mid-range game he's usually too tall for defenders and shoots over them. Additionally, he keeps the ball high in most situations so doesn't need much room to put the ball up. In catch and shoot situations he has proven to have a quick release which doesn't give defenders an opportunity to effectively stop him. His perceived lack of production throughout the '15/16 EuroLeague season is due to Korkmaz riding the bench for Efes.

Creativity: An underrated part of Korkmaz's game is his effectiveness as a play-maker. Korkmaz's handles allow him to quickly move the ball out to teammates in open space. Whilst playing for Anadolu he has shown that he has the ability to shake off defenders with crossovers and create space for himself to put up an uncontested shot. Korkmaz is a very intelligent player, he isn't an attacking threat in the paint but when he is there he does manage to put up soft floaters.

Weaknesses

Age: Furkan Korkmaz is one of the youngest draft eligible players to declare for the 2016 NBA draft. Because of his age he doesn't yet have an NBA ready frame and he's still developing. It isn't a big deal but Korkmaz may need a bit of time to acclimate to the NBA and get properly immersed into an NBA conditioning program.

Defending: Korkmaz is not a good defender. Korkmaz plays high, he doesn't get low enough to put himself in front of players. He doesn't set his feet particularly well so he loses offensive players if/when they present him a crossover. Due to his youthful frame Korkmaz isn't particularly physical when defending, he's easily pushed off the ball and doesn't bring much of a physical match-up for wings.

Play in the paint: Whilst Korkmaz has a nice touch on floaters he struggles in the paint. When given opportunities to drive at the basket he would rather put up floaters, on the rare occasions that Korkmaz does drive to the basket he doesn't draw contact. Through the 2015/16 European season Korkmaz only visited the line 15 times in 44 games.

Pro Comparisons

Marco Belinelli - Marco Belinelli has carved out a nice career in the NBA as a perimeter scorer. He can play off the ball whilst also being able to finish at the basket. Belinelli has never been a key contributor on a team, instead he has played primarily as a role player (on some pretty impressive teams). Korkmaz has very similar traits to Belinelli, although he is more attack minded than Belinelli and possesses a game which should allow him to attack the basket at a higher rate than Belinelli has throughout his career. Given Belinelli's success in the NBA, Korkmaz could do a lot worse than being in a similar position down the line.

Nik Stauskas - This is not meant as a slight against Korkmaz. Entering the 2013 NBA Draft Stauskas was viewed similarly to Korkmaz, both have a much better outside game than they do inside game, both have terrific size for their position and have underrated ball-handling abilities. They also went into the draft process sharing some pretty similar flaws, neither could really finish in the paint all that well. Both Stauskas and Korkmaz possess frames that needed NBA conditioning programs to maximize them. Stauskas is probably a worst-case scenario for Korkmaz

Mario Hezonja - Hezonja went into the 2015 NBA Draft labeled as an athletic freak with tremendous upside. He got that label because he attacked the basket and shot impressively from behind the arc, Korkmaz is very similar. He doesn't have the ego that Hezonja has but he can explode and finish at the rim when needed, given more confidence he should be seen doing this regularly. Korkmaz is probably a better shooter than Hezonja was, and at a younger age. We saw Hezonja go into games off the bench for Orlando as a rookie, Korkmaz will likely feature similarly for whichever team drafts him. He doesn't have the hype that Hezonja had but his overall game should have a similar trajectory.

Fit with the Nuggets

One could argue that the Nuggets biggest need this off-season is to find some scoring in the back-court. Whilst his frame may lack in comparison to other prospects, and he's arguably more 'raw' than other prospects, Korkmaz fits the bill of a back-court scorer. He has incredible upside on the offensive end of the court, has a proven consistent, scoring touch from beyond the arc which would offer something completely different to that of Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris
At this point Korkmaz is very limited in that he will be a one way contributor for the Nuggets, he'll essentially just play spot up minutes when points are needed. I wouldn't expect him to take significant minutes away from Harris or Will Barton but he can certainly get hot and force Michael Malone into keeping him out on the court. Given time to develop his handles Korkmaz could become a primary scoring option in a backcourt desperately lacking any shooting versatility and range.

Projected Draft Spot

SB Nation - 23 (Boston Celtics)

Draft Express - 16 (Boston Celtics)

CBS Sports (Vecenie) - Non first round pick (*note: Vecenie stated he took Korkmaz out of his mock because rumor has it Korkmaz will withdraw if not given a guarantee that he will be a lottery pick).

Bleacher Report (Wasserman) - 16 (Boston Celtics)

NBADraft.net - 12 (Utah Jazz)

Final Thoughts

Korkmaz is one of the best shooting prospects to come out of Europe in recent years, he's not got the hype that similar prospects have had however he's got a game which should translate to the NBA pretty smoothly. He's already probably the best shooter in the 2016 Draft, given time to add some weight/muscle to his frame Korkmaz should be able to take advantage of his athleticism. With added weight/muscle I wouldn't be surprised to see him develop more of a slashing game which will accompany his impressive range and efficiency in the three point shooting game.