When the Nets drafted Ilkan Karaman at #57 in the 2012 NBA Draft, it elicited a lot of reactions, none more memorable than this one. John Hollinger wrote that few NBA scouts saw him as draft-worthy. The Nets took him --and Toko Shengelia five places earlier-- on their faith in Danko Cvjeticanin, their international scout.
Since then, Karaman has switched teams in Turkey and more significantly got better coaching. Simone Pianigiani, Fenerbahce's coach, is seen as one of the best in Europe. And while Fener has disappointed, Karaman has developed. Here's what Euroleague Adventures wrote of Karaman in a critique of Fener's season...
Karaman is a bright spot and an extremely long and active defender. If he can shore up some spacing and shooting issues on offense, Fenerbahce has a guy they could really stick at either post spot.
Sunday, he had a chance to shine as Fener, Turkey's best team, faced off against one of its worst, Aliaga. In a blowout win, the 6'9.5" Karaman, known in Turkey as K-Mart, shot 5-for-5, including one from deep, with four rebounds, two blocks and two steals, all in 16 minutes. His teammate, Bojan Bogdanovic, took a backseat for the first time in several games, putting up only six shots and finishing with four points.
Game Report: Fenerbahce vs. Aliaga - Eurobasket