Ilkan Karaman is a 6'9.5" power forward with Fenerbahce Ulker and the Nets' other "Euro-Stash," having been drafted at No. 57 in the 2012 Draft, along with Tyshawn Taylor and Toko Shengelia. While those players signed two-year deals with Brooklyn, Karaman stayed in Istanbul and joined Fener where he became teammates with Bojan Bogdanovic, another second round pick of the Nets.
After playing weil the year he was drafted, Karaman had a dropoff at Fener last season, and in the off-season, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees to relieve chronic patellar tendinitis. He FIBA Eurobasket and the first month of the season. The 23-year-old is known as K-Mart in Turkey because of athleticism ... and multi-colored neck tattoo.
In an interview last month, Karaman said his rehab is going well and he expects to play in December. He also spoke about his desire to play for the Nets, his contact with the team coaching and training staffs, and his respect for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
On his goal of playing in the NBA.
"As everyone knows, my biggest personal goal is to one day play in the NBA. After riding out a full rehabilitation from my injuries I will continue to make efforts to target that goal...the NBA style appeals to me more."
On his contacts with the Nets.
"I am in touch with the technical (basketball operations) team in Brooklyn. I speak with the trainer, speak with the coaches. When I have a problem they're helpful. I have not had direct contact with the players but they are great legends. I have been watching (Pierce and Garnett) since childhood. One day when I go to play with them, for me my dreams will come true."
On what he can learn from Garnett.
"There is a lot to learn from him. Of course, our game style is a little different. I would much rather run-run. That's the style I'm good at."
Karaman's chances at an NBA career depend on his recovery and his development. Said one Turkish hoops analyst of his game: "Has a very unpolished game overall and too often he tries to make up for poor positioning with athleticism on defense and fails. Physical tools are there, but at the moment he is a blank sheet waiting to be written on."