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A Furkan Dilemma: What Should The Sixers Do With Furkan Korkmaz?

Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

As he makes his way to Philadelphia, the 76ers have a decision to make about Furkan Korkmaz.

Ben Simmons was the ultimate prize in the 2016 NBA Draft. That prize landed in the lap of the Philadelphia 76ers, who had three first round picks last June. Though Simmons missed the entire season injured, the team got to see flashes of potential from another first rounder in Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot. Luwawu-Cabarrot was the 24th overall pick and may turn into a real asset on the wing for years to come. 

The Sixers had another pick just two selections later, and they chose another international wing. Unlike Luwawu-Cabarrot, Furkan Korkmaz didn’t come over this year. Until now. Well, kind of.

Korkmaz recently traveled to Philadelphia, where he’s spending time at the team’s facility and taking part in some team bonding and exercise.

The new Rocky movie looks lit…

[ 📸 » ]

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 7, 2017

You can see Korkmaz in the bottom right there, but it’s unclear if we’ll see him in the NBA next season. It’s not just Joel Embiid’s immaculate stature; you can tell by the photo Korkmaz may not be physically ready for the NBA. The young man from Turkey was brought in so he could spend more time with coaches and the team. Getting a look at him up close is beneficial for a few reasons.

First of all, it shows the commitment they have to him and vice versa. Secondly, they can more appropriately assess him against their own team and maybe even play him in Summer League. They can also get him in the weight room more often with some of the best trainers around. Finally, doing all of this state side will allow for an easier and better conversation in person regarding the 2017-18 season.

Philadelphia is expecting to make a big leap forward next season, so they may be reluctant to bring over Korkmaz if he’s not ready. He’d likely develop faster with increased playing time overseas. It appears Korkmaz is ready to start his NBA journey now, but if he joined for the 2018-19 season, Korkmaz would be just a young 21-year-old. 

Now, on paper Korkmaz brings one of the Sixers’ biggest needs: shooting. He shot nearly 44% from deep last season in 41 games. That’s a great sample size. Korkmaz will struggle defensively as a rookie, but it’s not as if Nik Stauskas is an All-NBA defender. With improving defenders like Robert Covington and Luwawu-Cabarrot on the wing, and perhaps Josh Jackson as well, Korkmaz seems like a strong complement to that group and Simmons.

His $2 million buyout shouldn’t be a problem if they feel he can contribute. However, such as with Dario Saric, the Sixers could benefit from getting him on a cheap four-year deal a year from now. In addition, Philadelphia may want another year to assess the wings they have on the roster.

Should they add a wing in the draft, that player along with Stauskas, Covington, Justin Anderson, Luwawu-Cabarrot, and possibly Gerald Henderson (a potential free agent) is a lot of competition. Even if the Sixers were to let Henderson walk without adding a free agent, they may want to develop this group more first. Stauskas is heading toward free agency in 2018 and Anderson will follow in 2019 or 2020. Bryan Colangelo and Brett Brown would have tougher decisions to make with the addition of Korkmaz.

Regardless of what decision is made, it seems as though he will get to train with the team and perhaps play in Summer League. This should help his long-term development and there isn’t necessarily a bad option here for the Sixers. Given they have a top-four pick, multiple second rounders, and a plethora of wings, don’t be surprised if they have him wait another year.

Edited by Jeremy Losak, Brian Kang.

With what pick in the 2016 NBA Draft did the Sixers select Furkan Korkmaz?
Created 6/5/17
  1. 20th
  2. 22nd
  3. 24th
  4. 26th

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