Since taking over as general manager in Philadelphia, Sam Hinkie has introduced several new ways of roster building that had previously seemed foreign, per se. One of them? the utilization of european and other international leagues to help grow talent that could one day make an impact in the NBA. While the Sixers don't have these players under contract, they own their rights if they chose to make the move to the states.
They currently have to prospects playing around the globe: power forwards Arsalan Kazemi and Furkan Aldemir.
Drafted with the 54th overall pick in last year's draft out of Oregon, Kazemi went to play in his native land of Iran for Petrochimi Bandar Imam. The Iranian SuperLeague season is still ongoing, but the 23-year-old has certainly made a strong impact on his team. In 25 games he's averaging 14 points on nearly 60% shooting to go with 11.7 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. Those numbers aren't too shocking, he's playing in a league where the talent is somewhat mediocre. With that said, it is certainly nice to know he's performing as he should. The defensive stats are what sticks out to me, as he will be called upon more so for his rebounding and awareness on D more than anything else. I can only imagine Kazemi will get a chance to compete for a roster spot in training camp as the team's fourth or fifth big man. کار خوب, Arsalan.
Aldemir's rights were acquired from Houston last July as a part of the Royce White trade, but the Sixers viewed Furkan as the gem of that trade. He has spent the last four years with Galatasaray S.K. of the Turkish Basketball League, a league unlike Iran's which is full of decent talent. Hell, Galatasaray alone has former NBA vet Carlos Arroyo and Pops Mensah-Bonsu! Aldemir has seen an increasing role this year, and is averaging 5.2 points and 6.5 rebounds a contest. Draft Express' Jonathan Givony did a real good breakdown on the Turkish forward prior to being drafted in 2012, and highlighted his defensive prowess and size. After scourging Youtube for some highlights, I found two fantastic clips: a 45 second reel set to some dope dance music, as well as a video of Aldemir destroying a hoop.
He seems like another decent backup prospect, but don't get your hopes up that he'll ever make the jump across the pond.