PRO TEAM: Galatasaray Liv Hospital
VITALS: 6'9", 220 lbs.
YEAR DRAFTED: 2012 by LA Clippers (Round 2, Pick 53)
RIGHTS HELD BY: Philadelphia 76ers
Before I get started, I just want to assure you, the reader, that these FIBA World Cup editions of Draft Rights Retained will not all be Turkish players. There is only one more, I swear. Now let me tell you something about Furkan Aldemir brother! He is yet another member of Turkey's World Cup squad playing in Spain. I shouldn't exactly say playing (he took a DNP in yesterday's loss to the Ukraine), but we'll get to that at the end of the piece. For now, here is some background on this potential 76er.
Aldemir began his professional career at 16 years old with Pınar Karşıyaka in 2007. He only played one game that year but made enough of an impression to be brought back for three more seasons at Pinar. His averages would level off at roughly 8 points and 8 rebounds a game. All the while, he was a part of the Under-16 and Under-18 Turkish National Teams at their respective European Championships from 2007 to 2009. Furkan and Turkey won bronze at the 2009 U-18 event as the power forward averaged 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He would play until 2011 with Pınar Karşıyaka before making the move to giants Galatasaray Liv Hospital.
In between teams, Aldemir played in the 2011 Under-20 European Championships. He had cemented himself as a powerful low post force the year before averaging 13.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. His team didn't fare so well though, placing 13th. The Turks would only finish 6th in the 2011 competition but the 6'9" forward was even more dominant. He averaged 14.8 points, an absurd 15.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game to be named to the All-Tournament Team. Nevertheless, his play for his country didn't necessarily translate to a featured role with his new team.
Galatasaray basketball isn't up to par with their footballing counterparts in terms of league success, but they are still one of the biggest clubs in Turkey. Aldemir has been mostly a second unit player for them behind former Toronto Raptor Nathan Jawai among others. He has started a little under half of his appearances and carries per game averages at around 6 points and 6 rebounds. Aldemir won a championship with the club in 2013 playing with national teammate and DRR profile #15 Cenk Akyol. During his time with Galatasaray his draft rights have been traded twice. He was traded to Houston as part of a four team deal that sent Lamar Odom to the Clippers and Mo Williams to the Jazz the day after the 2012 Draft. On July 13th of last year, he was sent to Philadelphia for Royce White, famously known for his fear of flying. On May 26th of this year, he penned a new three year contract with Galatasaray meaning Philadelphia would have to pay a release clause to get the 23 year old over to the States before 2017. Watching Turkey at this World Cup, I think Philly will wait the three years.
He came into his own at the junior level for Turkey, but Aldemir's contributions to the senior team have been few and far between. So far in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Aldemir has played three of four games and scored 10 points in 20 minutes of play (Turkey is playing Finland in their fourth game as of press time). They gave the United States a scare but they have been quite underwhelming in their loss to the Ukraine. Aldemir is only 23 so he will probably have at least one or two more World Cups in him if he remains in the National Team fold. I think a trip to the NBA can only enhance those chances. We'll see if he concurs when his contract runs out in three years or if Philadelphia pays for his talents before then. Rather than further speculate on where he will play in the future, Furkan is just going to hang out with his dog...or mini lion. I can't tell.
Thanks for reading the sixteenth release of Draft Rights Retained right here on Bleeding Your Colors! I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to bringing you more wacky stories of players who the NBA has long since forgotten, but not their draft rights. Stay locked for a new profile until the list is exhausted. For more of me, check out my Twitter @TREVORutley and the official Bleeding Your Colors Twitter @B3WHYC3. For less of me, take your computer and reenact this famous scene from Mac and Me.
Image Credits: Furkan Profile (galatasaray.org), Furkan w/ dog (ink361.com)