"Sixers Overseas" is your weekly update on 76ers prospects who are spanning the globe, from Turkey to Germany and everywhere in between.
Saric, Korkmaz struggle to stay on the floor
The Homie Dario (TM) continues to fall out of favor in the Efes rotation, down nearly eight minutes per game in regular season play (he's hovering around 17). But he's actually been increasingly productive in a smaller role - nine points, five rebounds, two assists and 1.5 turnovers in 19 minutes per game spanning four regular season games and four Euroleague matches.
A smaller, secondary creating role realistically may be what awaits Saric at the NBA level. Manning that post in Turkey doesn't seem to be of much interest for Dario, but it'll be interesting to see how he develops in that role over the course of the season. He went for six points, seven boards and missed all three of his attempts from long range in a narrow overtime loss to Laboral last weekend.
Meanwhile in Istanbul, Saric's teammate, 18 year-old guard Furkan Korkmaz, has yet to find a steady role with Efes. Korkmaz is mocked as the No. 12 prospect in the upcoming draft by DraftExpress, and his deep skill set headlined by a lethal shooting stroke should keep him on the map despite his lack of a steady role. He saw under seven minutes against Laboral and wasn't particularly involved - he didn't attempt a shot - and Sportando's Orazio Cauchi described it as head coach Dusan Ivkovic "being Ivkovic". So, cheers to ultra-conservative euro coaching.
We'll be monitoring Korkmaz's progress going forward.
Micic yet to crack the rotation
The addition of former Belmont point guard Alex Renfroe has spelled bad news for Micic, who has yet to see a minute this season in Munich's first 11 games. His ankle injury may have kept him off the floor early on, and there remains heavy competition at his position, but his inability to crack the rotation to this point raises lots of questions about both his future in Munich and any potential future at the NBA level.
The Chu Chu Train Departs Finland
Chukwudiebere Maduabum ei tule enää esiintymään Pyrinnön paidassa tällä kaudella. #Korisliiga #Pyrintö https://t.co/SLZ8c3YT4N— Pyrintö Basketball (@TrePyrinto) November 9, 2015
Twitter translated that tweet as "Chukwudiebere no longer perform at the Pyrinnön shirt Maduabum this season." So, yes, the rumors are true: Pyrinto cut Chu Chu.
I genuinely have no idea what's next for Chu Chu, but here's a clip of the vicious swat you definitely heard about against Karhubasket on Oct. 28:
Blokkikone Chukwudiebere Maduabum, @TrePyrinto vs @Karhubasket LIVE https://t.co/l7oN97oNZj #Korisliiga pic.twitter.com/RNGihq9BZz— Korisliiga (@Korisliiga) October 28, 2015
Bend it Like Bender
The 17 year-old Maccabi Tel Aviv seven-footer, mocked at No. 5 by DraftExpress, cemented his place on the lottery stage when he competed with and against grown-ass men at the United Center and held his own in 18 minutes in a win over Milan. Bender's a creative big with two-way ability, an improving outside game, and a wealth of versatility on both ends.
He's struggled to find consistent minutes this season playing behind Trevor Mbakwe, among others, but he's not even 18 yet. Maccabi's going to bring him along very gradually, and it'll be fascinating to see where his draft stock is come May and June.