Player Analysis – Furkan Korkmaz

Player Analysis – Furkan Korkmaz by Amit Tailor.

This article was originally featured on Coach Tailor’s website: BasketballOutliers.Blogspot.com.

OK, so back to our international guys. Today’s outlier is none other than the Turkish sensation, Furkan Korkmaz. He comes in as an outlier mainly because he’s an international player that many of us haven’t seen unless we follow the high level international tournaments like the FIBA U19 Championships. Korkmaz has played well in all of these, including a 28 point performance in the 3rd place game against Greece.

Korkmaz has a strong upside as a 2 guard in the NBA. He’s listed at 6’7″ and 185 lbs. The height is solid, the weight and body can definitely use some work, especially the upper body. If he is going to compete on the defensive end in the NBA, he’s going to need some more upper body strength. I don’t think we need to be worried about his competitive spirit, as a lot of international players I’ve seen have a great sense of pride. There are some other things that need to be improved defensively with him, but we’ll get into that later.

What I like about Korkmaz is that he brings NBA ready skills at just under 19 years old. He is a lights out 3 point shooter, especially in the corners. He does a great job holding his spacing and it seems like his team’s offense (Anadolu Efes in Turkey) loves to get him corner 3’s. They don’t finish their season until potentially May, but as of today, he currently shoots 47.6% from 3 and a blistering 46.7% from the corners. A look at his shot chart will show you much higher volume from the right side of the floor and some incredibly high percentages (49% from the right side on 49 attempts vs 41% from the left side on 29 attempts).

Another area of the chart that stands out is right at the rim. I thought it was a little misleading and he should have finished better than 59%, but it’s not all that bad. The NBA rim protectors will be better than what he’s used to, but at least he’s got some experience playing against the behemoths of the U19 Championships.

Here is why I think he will be a great addition for whomever drafts him:
1) 3 point shooting – It’s no secret that today’s NBA game relies a lot on 3 point shooting and it’s the cool thing to do. Teams are putting a premium on shooting and floor spacing, and Korkmaz can provide a team with that. He can comfortably shoot from NBA range and is not shy about shooting when he feels open. Though his shooting mechanics look slow, they’re fundamentally sound.
2) Feel/Basketball IQ – From what I’ve seen in European players, they generally have a high basketball IQ. Korkmaz is no exception to my observations. He understands the game, spacing, timing, and has a strong feel for moving without the ball.
3) Athleticism – just because he’s a 6’7″ white guy doesn’t mean he can’t hang with NBA athletes. I’d say it’s a notch below the most athletic players in the league, but go watch the film. He is more athletic than you think. Per nbadraft.net, he is getting individual training on agility. From the film you can see he has a good sense of playing passing lanes and isn’t shy about putting guys on a poster.

Korkmaz will need time to adjust to the NBA game defensively. Per Draftexpress, it sounds like focus in pick and roll defense needs to be improved. Though the steal numbers are pretty good, defending pick and rolls on the ball and even behind the play in the NBA are different with different level athletes and equally if not more high IQ players.

As a 2 guard in the NBA, he will probably have to play in some PNR and has shown minimal ability to create. He can attack closeouts well with 1 dribble pull ups or get to the rim and finish, but he hasn’t scored much out of pick and roll’s in which he is directly involved in.

Lastly, despite the high shooting percentage at the rim, NBA rim protectors are way better. There were some easy layups he missed with minimal contests. NBA bigs are not going to be as friendly when he’s coming down the line trying to finish.

Strengths:
– Shooting and range
– Basketball IQ/Feel
– Athleticism
– Age – just under 19 years old and won’t be 19 until right after the NBA draft

Weaknesses:
– Defensively – in general
– Is he ready for the NBA physically?
– Ability to create out of PNR?
– Can he finish against NBA rim protectors?

 I can’t wait to see his career arc as an NBA player! Enjoy the shot chart and short film session!

 

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