Furkan Korkmaz impresses in pre-draft workout for the Denver Nuggets

Furkan Korkmaz

The Denver Nuggets hosted two more players for pre-draft workouts on Saturday. Furkan Korkmaz most recently played for Anadolu Efes in the Euroleague, and Tanner Samson played for Elon University. While media does not get to see the majority of the workout, we did get to witness glimpses of the unknown Turkish shooting guard that many scouts have been clamoring to see.

Korkmaz arrived to the United States on Thursday and has already worked out with the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and now the Denver Nuggets. He has another workout planned tomorrow with the Boston Celtics as well. In addition to Korkmaz’s workout in Denver, he also sat down for Dinner on Friday night with Nuggets assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas.

After the workout had concluded, Furkan took the time to talk with the media. The biggest takeaway from his interview is how mature he is for being the second youngest player in the NBA draft. Even with a slight language barrier, he was concise, well spoken and extremely transparent.

When asked if he preferred to stay in Europe or jump straight into the NBA you could hear the drive and passion in his voice.

“I want to come [to the NBA] right away, here after the draft. Next year, I don’t want stay,” Korkmaz said. “I don’t want to say in Europe, but my opinion is if I come here right away, next year it is going to help me a lot. For example, if I reach my potential in three years in Europe, then it will take less time if I come right here right away.”

When asked how his ability as a shooter could help the Nuggets in particular he seemed knowledgeable on the Nuggets roster and needs.

“I think they need a shooter,” Korkmaz said. “I was checking their roster and their field goals, and they need more three-point shooters. I think I can help them.”

When asked about his weakness is when he really shined. He, very quickly and clearly, jumped right into what he needs to work on, but also how it will not hold him back.

“I need to improve my weaknesses. For example, my body. I am so skinny,” Korkmaz said. “I know that. Basketball is not just body. You have to be smart. You have to be clever. First I’d say my body, [and] I need to improve and my defensive ability.”

He also explained his overall game to me:

“I think I can be a really dangerous player because I can read the game very well; I can shoot the ball, I can create for my teammates, also I can dominate the games.”

Korkmaz was oozing confidence for the entirety of the five-minute interview, but what he had to say toward the end is what made me a believer.

“It is going to be hard for me, but everything is hard in this life, and I just have to adjust, and I am ready to adjust,” Korkmaz said. “I am ready to take responsibility for my play.”

For now the Nuggets do not have any more pre-draft workouts scheduled before the NBA Draft. So far they have individually worked out Henry Ellenson, Dejonte Murray, Timothe Luwawu and Deyonta Davis. Korkmaz’s workout today could almost be considered individual as well, with only Samson being involved as well.

(Featured image courtesy of trthaber.com)

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