LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers selected Furkan Aldemir of Turkey in the second round of the NBA draft Thursday night.
Aldemir, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward, averaged 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds for Galatasaray Medical Park in Turkey last season. Aldemir has played the past five seasons in the Turkish Basketball League.
Aldemir, 21, played for Turkey in the 2011 European Championship and led the tournament with 15.9 rebounds a game and averaged 14.8 points and 1.7 blocks.
"He's long, he's a young kid," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "He's good around the basket. He ran good. He's got some length. He's got some upside to him. You want to take the best guy possible at that position. That was the position we were in at that time."
The Clippers are without a general manager after Neil Olshey left to become GM of the Portland Trail Blazers. Del Negro, President Andy Roeser and director of player personnel Gary Sacks are the team's primary decision-makers.
"It's been a collaborative effort," Del Negro said. "We bounce things off each other and we work on certain things."
This was the second straight year the Clippers did not have a first round pick. They drafted Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, both from Georgia, in the second round last year and neither played more than 24 games in the NBA.
The Clippers have a need for a post player who can score to play behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Aldemir is regarded as a solid rebounder and physical player but it is not likely he will make an impact.
Del Negro said they weren't close to trading up into the first round.
"There's a lot of things going on," Del Negro said. "But sometimes there's opportunities to move in. I wouldn't say we were close. There were a couple of opportunities that we looked at."
Del Negro wouldn't say if the team would have Aldemir continue to play overseas. They could also trade him.