One of the 1990 born and therefore automatically eligible players for the NBA Draft 2012 who do not see a lot of hype is the Turkish Power Forward Ilkan Karaman. Karaman is 2m05 tall and listed at 115kg and presents an interesting physical and athletic combination to play in the paint. The left-handed prospect finished his season in the Turkish League with interesting numbers and he might be a long term option for some NBA Teams.
Karaman is mainly playing in the paint. He takes most of his shot attempts in or around the key and seems to have quite a good touch. His left handed jump hook looks natural and quite regular up to 2-3 meters from the basket and he can nail it from the top or the side without the backboard. Strong rebounder, especially on the defensive end, Karaman is going hard all the time and seems to have quite a good motor. Not the type of athlete like Omer Asik, Karman can jump and play above the rim and is a serious shot blocking threat because of a nice wingspan.
On the offensive end, Karaman has developed and worked on his three-point shot which makes him an option in Pick and Pop situations as well. His mechanics do not look perfect yet but he has progressed in this area over the last few years. As his three-point shot is becoming more regular, Karaman can also attack the basket as the defenders have to come out on him. He has a large preference for going on his stronger left hand which makes him a bit foreseeable in these situations but he has shown nice footwork and some quickly executed spin moves on his penetration plays. He remains though a bit wild and not under control in certain moments.
Next to the above mentioned strengths, Karaman is quite a nice passer as he sees the court pretty well for a player of his size. He can play the dish out of the drive if he has his head up and can also go for the high-low play from the post. On the other hand, the Turkish power forward needs to work on his mid-range game. He has not a regular jump shot from 4-5 meters, at least not in the games we saw from him this season. Additionally, he needs to add some more technique in the low post as he is currently mainly using his athleticism and physical force to score in a different way than through the jump hook.
Having grown up with Tofas Bursa where he made his first steps in the TBL, Karaman was signed by Galatasaray Istanbul in the summer 2011 but they sent him on loan to the smaller club of Pinar Karsiyaka where he earned experience in the EuroChallenge competition as well. With Galatasaray being a EuroCup team, the next logical step for Karaman should be to get minutes with them next season. The NBA seems a bit far away for him right now but with a good Adidas Eurocamp next weekend, the Turkish prospect might get a look in the end of the second round in a poor Draft from a European perspective.