Furkan Aldemir became a member of the Sixers via a mid-July trade also involving former first-round pick Royce White. To this point, most of the attention surrounding the trade has been centered around White and his reluctancy to fly due to a mental illness.
Aldemir has been flying under the radar ever since being drafter by 53rd overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2012, although maybe he shouldn’t be. Two days after being drafted, Daryl Morey, Sam Hinkie, and company orchestrated a four-player deal that brought the Turkish native to the Houston Rockets. It should come as no surprise that Hinkie played a part in a second trade in a year to bring Aldemir to his team.
At just the age of 16, Aldemir began his professional basketball career with Pınar Karşıyaka of the Turkish Basketball League (TBL). After two years as a reserve, he became the team’s leading rebounder for the next two seasons. After establishing himself as one of the top players in the TBL, Aldemir signed a four-year contract with Galatasaray Liv Hospital, one of the league’s most successful clubs.
Despite most international players stock being valued strictly on potential, Aldemir is the exception. Already one of the best players overseas, he has already shown the ability to produce at a high level. By no means is the TBL the NBA, but his production is much more impressive than the likes of Sergey Karasev, Rudy Gobert, and other young international prospects.
Although it is unlikely that Aldemir will contribute to the Philadelphia 76ers next season, fans should do their due diligence and keep an eye on the Turkish big man. Hinkie and the Sixers can allow the 6’9″ forward to develop his game in his home country before bringing him to the NBA roster, delaying the beginning of his NBA contract. Unlike owning the rights to an American-born draftee, the rights to Aldemir allow the Sixers to keep his rights without having to give him an NBA contract, allowing him to remain a part of the organization while growing as a player.