In part 3 of T5Tuesday, we feature some international prospects with nice upside in the NBA.
1. Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey)
Shooting Guard-Small Forward/6’7/175/Age: 18
Key Stats: 5.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Furkan Korkmaz is a very confident wing scorer and that’ll take him a long way in the Association. In fact, I guarantee Korkmaz will become a get-out-of-the-way-and-get-me-a-bucket two guard sometime in the near future.
He kind of has a herky-jerky play style but his length and athleticism allow for “faraway” takeoffs and crazy finishes in the lane. Though his outside stroke isn’t A1, he won’t hesitate to knock it down if given space.
To earn more minutes than a similar talent like Mario Hezonja as a rook, Korkmaz has to ramp up his intensity on defense, while building his strength.
2. Ivica Zubac (Croatia)
Key Stats: 10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg
Ivica Zubac’s physical tools are why he’s viewed as a sleeper pick in this draft. He doesn’t really have much of an attack from outside but is decently skilled down low and has a 7’4 wingspan.
His main goal, however, is to discover what will get him immediate playing time on the court. The easy answer is rebounding, where Zubac’s shown a ton of improvement securing balls and controlling possessions. He won’t see a lot of action as a rook but will make a mark if his jumper comes around.
3. Juan Hernangomez (Spain)
Power Forward/6’9/225/Age: 21
Key Stats: 9.7 ppg, 5.7 ppg
Juan Hernangomez is a forward prospect who specializes in shooting and cutting. Questions about his position are valid but his J should translate pretty easily to NBA schemes, particularly as an elbow shooter and via pick & pops.
Can he defend or play tough enough? I’d assume so, considering his scrappiness & hustle in the (always tough) ACB league. Hernangomez doesn’t really get outworked by his matchup and could provide very productive minutes in someone’s second unit.
He’s expected to land anywhere from 18-35.
4. Ante Zizic (Croatia)
Key Stats: 15 ppg, 9.4 rpg
Zizic is mobile, has great size and plays hard on both sides of the ball. Honestly, he just plays “big” and features advanced awareness – he knows not to force action or play anything other than his game.
Zizic is gonna give you rebounds, send back shots and stay big on the interior. And if his offense can extend beyond 13-15 feet, his style would be close to a guy like Nikola Jokic.
Jokic has him beat in almost every offensive category but Zizic has similar size, work ethic and toughness on the inside.
5. Zhou Qi (China)
Key Stats: 15.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg
7’2 = elite size & length.
7’2 + 215 pounds = well, an intriguing project to say the least.
China’s Zhou Qi has a long way to go before he’s a real NBA talent but has some teams salivating over his defensive potential and offensive skill set.
He’s a really efficient shooter and scorer, with the ability to step out beyond the three-point line and do damage. One on one defense will be impossible until he gets a bit stronger and as far as position goes…is he a gigantic four or the rare “stretch five?”
That said, why not take a flier in the second-round and see what happens?