While most Sixers fans were just setting up their chairs on the Jersey Shore beaches on Monday late morning, the team suffered somewhat of a blow.
Galatasaray agreed with Furkan Aldemir on a new three-year deal (€3.9M contract for the three seasons, €1.3 per year) http://t.co/QmUgdY66Lv— Sportando (@sportando) May 26, 2014
That Tweet means Turkish big man Furkan Aldemir's, the Sixers' prospect, will remain with his Euroleague club, Galatasaray Istanbul, for three more seasons rather than joining Sam Hinkie in Philadelphia this summer (His agent originally tweeted out the news before deleting it, for some reason). Aldemir was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 53rd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and then had his rights shipped immediately to the Houston Rockets. Of course, the Sixers obtained his rights in the deal that brought Royce White to PCOM for a few weeks in exchange for a Top-55 protected pick that the Rockets will never see.
Per 36 minutes, Aldemir averaged a very solid 11.1 points on 65.4 percent shooting, 13.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks during 22 games this season for Galatasaray. At 6-9, 220 pounds, the big man could potentially be a slightly smaller version of Tiago Splitter. Of note, he only played 17.5 minutes per game during this 2013-14 campaign where he posted the above numbers, yet still sees a brighter future in Istanbul rather than Philly.
Aldemir not coming stateside isn't a shot in the nuts, but it's definitely hurts like a slap in the face. At 22 years old — he turns 23 on August 9 — It would be nice to incorporate him into Brett Brown's developmental system right now. Objectively, that's probably better for his career than playing less than 20 minutes per game in a less competitive league, but I digress.
Because still, if Aldemir ventured to the Philadelphia once his contract is up, he'll only be 26 and the Sixers will probably be in serious playoff contention. That season would be 2017-18, so perhaps Aldemir would be joining the young Philly squad that momentously took the Eastern Conference giant Washington Wizards to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals the year prior. Who knows?
There are plenty of European players — or Americans who began their careers in Europe — that have become efficient rookies in the NBA in their late 20s. Splitter, Gary Neal, Chris Copeland, Pablo Prigioni all recently ring a bell.
The news will likely impact the Sixers' Draft as well. With Aldemir out of the picture, look for Hinkie to take a chance on a big man in the second round like a Patric Young or Cory Jefferson.