Utah Jazz Draft Prospects: Furkan Korkmaz

Apr 1, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; The trees in full bloom and a general view of at Vivint Smart Home Arena where the Utah Jazz will play the Minnesota Timberwolves. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; The trees in full bloom and a general view of at Vivint Smart Home Arena where the Utah Jazz will play the Minnesota Timberwolves. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

Heading into the 2016 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz have a number of options. One option is using the No. 12 pick to grab sharpshooter Furkan Korkmaz.

The 2016 NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, and the Utah Jazz find themselves with the No. 12 pick for the second year in a row. Last summer, Trey Lyles was the choice; one that looks like it will pay off for years to come. Can lightning strike in the late lottery once again?

A number of a mock drafts predict that Utah will use the twelfth pick to select Furkan Korkmaz, a sharpshooter from Turkey. Korkmaz is a natural-born scorer and could provide the Jazz with some much-needed depth at the small forward position.

Despite playing just a handful of minutes overseas, Korkmaz has managed to make a splash. And after two impressive seasons playing with the Andolu Efes in Turkey, Korkmaz is ready to take his game to the NBA.

At just 18 years old, Korkmaz is younger than many of the other prospects in the 2016 NBA Draft. Nonetheless, he is one of the more experienced, cracking the rotation in both the Turkish BSL and Euroleague. His experience competing at the senior level, against some of the best players in Europe, is key to the development his game.

Sharp Shooting

As one of the more exciting international prospects, Korkmaz is best known for his skills on the offensive end of the court. An incredible shooter, Korkmaz first made a name for himself when he finished as the top scorer in the U-16 European Championship in 2013.

He’s most effective along the perimeter but certainly isn’t afraid to throw down the occasional vicious dunk. Korkmaz recently won the BSL’s slam dunk contest while dressed like Darth Vader. His offensive abilities, however, go far beyond his dunking.

From behind the arc, his shot is particularly lethal. His form, though slightly unconventional, is smooth. He slings the ball back behind his head before releasing a high-arching shot off his fingertips. Between club and international games, he’s shot nearly 40 percent from three-point range since his Euroleague debut.

One of his most valuable assets is his ability (and willingness) to create shots for his teammates. He’s a creative passer and plays with surprising unselfishness for someone his age. Unfortunately, Korkmaz is prone to intermittent spurts of turnovers, but this will likely become less of a problem as he gains more experience.

Next: Is Denzel Valentine a Possibility at No. 12?

Need For Muscles

Korkmaz is still young and has much to learn before he can be an overall effective player in the NBA. As a defender, his fundamentals and strength present some challenges. He doesn’t play a particularly physical game and has a difficult time staying in front of opposing players.

Most troubling, however, Korkmaz will suddenly appear disengaged if he’s not on the ball.

Another problem for Korkmaz is his lack of physical strength. Standing at six-foot-seven, Korkmaz is skinny. There aren’t any official measurements for the Turkish wing, but most scouting reports list him as weighing 185 pounds. Regardless, it’s clear that he isn’t yet strong enough to guard other players effectively.

His 185-pound frame often prevents him from playing a physical game.

There is no guarantee that he will develop into a top defender, but his length, instincts and quickness make for great building blocks. Additionally, many of his issues may be resolved when Korkmaz just gains some muscle.

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If he bulks up, and it’s more than likely that he will, the 18-year-old shooter has the potential to become a real threat on both sides of the court. NBAdraft.net compares Korkmaz to Gordon Hayward, which should reassure Jazz fans.

Hayward is proof that it is possible for an outside shooter to develop depth and strength. Heading into the 2016 NBA Draft, Korkmaz is pretty much everything an NBA team could want in a teenage prospect.

If Korkmaz ends up playing for Utah, it could be a beneficial relationship for both parties. The Utah Jazz are a team devoted to player development, which is exactly what Korkmaz needs. And if he turns out anything like Gordy, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt Utah to have another Hayward coming off the bench.