May 1, 2015
NBA Comparison: Gordon Hayward
Strengths: Korkmaz can be described as a natural born scorer … This type of player is the dream of every coach … He has almost everything in the offensive dimension of the game and rarely struggle to create a score option to himself … He is a sharp shooter with a high percentage behind the arc … He averaged almost 50% in the latest U19 World championships and did so by utilizing shots within the team system … His shooting skill is simply outstanding … He never ies away from shooting the ball when he is open … This can be around the basket, mid range shots or three pointers … Especially when he is matched up with slower and shorter opponents, he has many ways to get open looks … It is hard to find someone who is polished making off-screen shots nowadays in youth tournaments but Korkmaz is a special type of player who is adept in this … He handles the ball well and this is what he improved upon in the last year … It looks like he has had good practice habits because now he has better command of his hands than before … Athleticism and physical tools of European players are generally the biggest question mark in NBA GMs minds … When we have a look at Korkmaz’ athleticism, it is easy to see that he will be able to cope with NBA players … His athleticism is one step above his peers … His agility and jumping skills allow him to complete highlight dunks … His athleticism is not like the Hezonja’s, but formidable it his own right … He is tall for his position and this causes mismatches for his opponent’s team … Even though he is taller than most of the guys who play his position, he doesn’t have any problem with speed… He is an agile player who is doing individual training to become more agile … He knows the game very well and has very great fundamentals. He loves to take the ball coast to coast, after a rebound … He’s very aggressive in looking for penetration towards the basket thanks to his agility and speed … He is a smart player, always thinking on the floor .. He always seeks mismatches and how to exploit the defense … In addition to his scoring ability, he is good at finding the right passing channels and extremely unselfish … Embraces a leadership role and accepts responsibility for the team’s fate … Has learned to become a kid with a strong work either over the years. You would not be able to say that two years ago, which is a great development … He has shown great improvement in his all around game … He was not a good penetrator two years ago but now when he finds an opening in the defense, he never avoids driving to the basket … That’s why he is a high level prospect. He is continually improving his game … Has experience. He has already competed at the senior level (around some of the best players in Europe) and the experience factor is important in the development process of his game … He will not be like a fish out of water when he sets foot in the NBA which is a common thing among European players. An 18 year old player with real Euroleague experience is not a common thing.
Weaknesses: His defense is the developing part of his game … It is hard to say that he is a bad player defensively. On the contrary, he has quick hands and has nice steal stats in every tournament, but he needs to bulk a little bit to be effective at the NBA level … Some opponents are able to effectively play post up against him … He needs to gain weight for not just his defense but in order to become a more explosive player … We saw the same case in Hezonja’s development … Korkmaz has a good frame, and is going to have balanced and fit body when he put the work in in gym … Still has a tendency to disappear during games, although I know he has the clutch gene to rise when it matters … Maybe he is doing this because of the fact that the team has other talents with more consistency at this point … But a steady level of play will be an important addition for his game …
Outlook: He has shown great dedication in the four years I have followed him. He’s been developing his game day by day and in 1-2 years, we can expect his break out season … He’s got the attention of all the NBA scouts and his name is on their short lists of top Euro prospects 18 years old Turkish international will attend one more youth tournament this year and will join Turkish NT this summer most likely. A busy summer is waiting him and we will see how he will perform in these upcoming tournaments …
Notes: Made a name for himself at the U16 European Championship and finished the tournament as the highest scorer. He averaged 25.3 PPG. One year later he played in U18 European championships as one year younger than most of the players in his position and managed to have a good tournament and was considered as the the key part of Turkish team that achieved gold there … His third tournament took place this year in Crete … In U19 World Championships, he was selected for the all tournament team and helped the NT to get the bronze by beating Greece on their home court … Beside his youth tournament career, this year he has played in the highest level in Euroleague and this has transformed him into an experienced player at a young age … He got some minutes in both Turkish league and Euroleague. We saw him as a first tier scoring option in some games rather than just a catch-n-shoot type of player … He got enough responsibility from legendary coach Ivkovic and definitely this mutual trust is a kind of underlying reason of Korkmaz’ success.
Merih Sorkut 7/13/15