There is a “good chance” Furkan Aldemir will join the Rockets next season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The 6-foot-9 power forward out of Turkey was acquired by the Rockets in a draft day trade after being selected by the Clippers with the 53rd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. It was originally assumed on draft night that he would come over no sooner than 2014.
Multiple people have described Aldemir’s game to me as a “mini-Omer Asik,” and that’s not just because they’re both from Turkey. Like Asik, he has a strong frame, is physical, isn’t afraid of contact and will dive all over the floor for the ball. His offensive game is severely limited with no range, but he may have better hands than Asik and can set screens on the pick-and-roll. However, his effectiveness is as both a rebounder and a defender. So while his offensive game is laughable compared to that of Donatas Motiejunas, that defense and rebounding skillset could be the key to him getting minutes more quickly on an NBA roster, especially when those minutes are controlled by Kevin McHale.
Playing for Galatasaray in Turkey, Aldemir averaged 5.2 points and 6.9 rebounds in just 16.8 minutes a game. In 12 games of Eurocup action, he played just over 13 minutes a contest, averaging 3.8 points and 4.3 rebounds a night — nearly half of those boards were offensive.
Aldemir is just 21 years old (will turn 22 in August), so there’s still some development work to do, though we’re not sure this is a player with a 35-40 minute a night ceiling. However, he could be a sneaky Chucky Hayes-like addition to a team in desperate need of rebounding and defense at the backup center spot, areas where Greg Smith was brutally exposed in Houston’s first round matchup with the Thunder.
Here’s a good clip of Aldemir starting to set the high screen and then rolling early to the basket for a dunk. The second clip is a block of an outside shot leading to a dunk in transition.
It looks like Aldemir is a bit of a prankster as well. This was posted just yesterday by the team: