Could the Celtics be eyeing an international shooting guard in the middle of the first round?
The Boston Celtics have a very valuable number three pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but as we know they also possess seven more picks across the board. These eight picks give Danny Ainge the flexibility he needs in order not only to strengthen the team for the upcoming season, but also to build a roster for the future.
With all these picks, it is quite safe to assume that Boston will take a closer look and perhaps select at least one European player in the 2016 NBA Draft. Besides Dragan Bender, who right now is the favorite to be selected third on the June 23, there are also some other talented European players who seem worth the risk, adding them to the Celtics’ roster.
One of them is the Turkish guard Furkan Korkmaz. He is a member of the powerful Turkish club, Anadolu Efes, and as the majority of the European players at his age, he did not get enough playing time during the season. This however, is not something that will stop the NBA teams to express their interest.
Korkmaz is 6’7” and his great size for his position is the first thing that somebody notices about him. His athleticism is also a big plus, as he has the speed and quickness to run the floor and become a transition weapon for his team. His shooting ability is exceptional as he can shoot off the dribble or act as a spot-up shooter too. This combination of size, athleticism and shooting is quite an attractive package for most NBA teams.
As we have mentioned many times this season, one of the Celtics’ biggest issues was their three-point shooting percentage, and the Turkish youngster is someone who can help fixing the problem. He can also be a great fit in Boston’s fast-paced style in offense as he seems to feel quite comfortable in the transition game. In some mock drafts, Korkmaz appears to be selected up to number 12, and according to DraftExpress, right now he is at number 16, which is Boston’s pick.
One of the biggest issues with Korkmaz is his thin body and his defensive ability. He surely must gain some weight and build a stronger frame to face stronger opponents and not be afraid of contact while attacking the basket.
Furkan Korkmaz has the opportunity to become a threatening scoring guard as well as to develop as one of the best young shooters in the game. His thin frame is certainly a disadvantage and he will have to build up quickly to have a higher higher ceiling in his career. He has also to try harder in order not to be a defensive liability for his team to earn more playing time. With the right guidance and hard work, he has the chance to become a starting shooting guard at the NBA level.
His age is also a big plus as he will become 19 in July and the Celtics have the luxury to be patient with him and wait for another season before adding him to the roster. Staying another season in Europe might be helpful for him, should he get decent playing time. However, he has already shown his strong desire to move from Europe right away as he has already negotiated an NBA buyout for this summer.
The Boston Celtics lack a good spot-up shooter and that was quite obvious all year, especially in the playoffs against Atlanta. Heading into the draft they should focus on adding at least one three-point specialist who could either contribute right away or be a long-term investment and although Korkmaz might seem more like the latter, he has the ability, and the experience for his age, to come in and contribute much sooner than expected.