The stateside arrival of power forward Furkan Aldemir from Turkey is the latest indirect ripple from the Rockets' signing of Dwight Howard in 2013.
Rockets fans will always know Aldemir as a Daryl Morey trade chip who got Royce White off the Rockets payroll and helped clear Rockets cap space in the aftermath of Dwight Howard's decision to join the Rockets. The Turkish rebounder isn't going to alter the Philadelphia 76ers' Failure By Design, but time will tell if he turns into a quality NBA player we once let go.
From Woj's July 5th, 2013 story on the Rockets sending Royce White to the 76ers:
Along with White, who clashed with the organization and never played a minute in the regular season, the Rockets will send the draft rights to an international prospect and cash.
Yep, that nameless "international prospect" is the 6'10", 23-year-old power forward/center Furkan Aldemir who makes his living as a hustling big man who pulls down rebounds and throws his weight around. No one has accused Aldemir of being a shooter and it's unclear what role Aldemir can play in an NBA offense, but we'll find out soon.
The Rockets acquired Aldemir's rights in a now forgettable 2012 four-team trade that unloaded Lamar Odom on the L.A. Clippers and Mo Williams on the Jazz. In the deal's chaos, the Rockets acquired the 2012 53rd overall draft pick from the Clippers. Fun note, two other Turkish players were drafted at the end of the second round in the 2012 draft. Neither has sniffed the NBA.
For the limited time the Rockets owned Aldemir's rights he played under contract for Galatasaray in Turkey drawing praise as "a few years away from the NBA." This month, Aldemir got out of his contract with Galatasaray, packed his bags and brought his girlfriend and pet cat (not joking) to Philadelphia. Within 24 hours of arriving last week he suited up for the 76ers playing 10 minutes in a loss to the Celtics.
We didn't get a decent taste of Aldemir's game despite the amount of PT he got. Aldemir has good size and didn't look intimidated or nervous. He elected to spend most of his time on the court waiting for a shot to go up and then moving toward the basket for a rebound. His picks came at awkward locations and one drew an offensive foul, but watching the 76ers run their "offense" his movements weren't any worse than his teammates.
Aldemir is currently sitting out with plantar fasciitis despite passing his original 76ers physical.
In Euroleague play this year Aldemir averaged 7.8 points and 6.2 rebounds and shot 75 percent in 20 minutes of play over six games. He is a member of the Turkish national team and played limited minutes in six of Turkey's seven FIBA World Cup games this past summer.
We won't know what type of career he'll have for several years, but his presence in the league this week is a small reminder of how landmark player movements in the NBA often ripple for years.