The Clippers had exactly one pick in this draft, and at 53 it was not ever going to be a household name. So I was pleasantly surprised when they came up with Furkan Aldemir, a 20 year old rebounding machine from Turkey. When you consider that older international players from lesser leagues/teams like Izzet Turkyilmaz and Ognjen Kuzmic had already been drafted, Aldemir looked like a steal. After all, at 20 he would seem to still have some upside, and even if he doesn't develop significantly going forward, he's already a monster rebounder, which is a skill that translates well to the NBA. And Aldemir played for Galatsaray last season, which made it to the Final 16 in the EuroLeague. So in addition to playing at the top level in Turkey, he was playing at the top level in all of Europe.
The downside is that he's just one year into a four year deal with Galatsaray, and not eligible for a buy out until 2014. The Clippers haven't been particularly adept at stashing players in Europe, but maybe this time it would be different.
But just as I was warming to the idea of a guy named Furkan, came news that Aldemir would be headed to the Houston Rockets. All we have right now is a tweet from Jonathon Feigen of the Houston Chronicle,
As always, the Rockets made a move for a second-rounder. Will get Turkish center Furkan Aldemir. Will stay in Europe at least 1 more year.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 29, 2012
No word yet on what the Clippers get in return, but you can assume that it is green.
So thus ends the 2012 NBA Draft for the Clippers. Can't wait to see these new guys play in Las Vegas. Actually, time to start going over the list of undrafted players looking for potential free agents.