Furkan Korkmaz, the 26th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2016 NBA Draft, is traveling to Philadelphia to meet with the Sixers brass, according to international basketball reporter David Pick.
Source: Furkan Korkmaz is traveling to Philadelphia. He wants NBA, but Sixers could re-stash him at Anadolu Efes. Has $2M out.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 4, 2017
Korkmaz, 19, finished his 2016-17 strong after a shaky start. He played sparingly for Anadolu Efes in the beginning of the season, and was loaned to fellow Turkish club Banvit BK in December.
With Banvit, Korkmaz averaged 10.7 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from three. He helped Banvit win the Turkish Cup in February, the first trophy in team history, and made it to the first ever Basketball Champions League final before losing to Spanish side Iberostar Tenerife. For his contributions, the BCL awarded him Best Young Player in the league.
He spoke to EuroHoops.net on Thursday, and discussed his thoughts on returning to Turkey or going to the NBA.
It's a turning point again. I hope to talk with my parents, Efes and Sixers and we will make the best decision for me. During the season we were in constant contact with Sixers. They care about me.
Korkmaz has expressed interest in joining the Sixers for the 2017-18 season in the past, possibly because of his standing with Efes, but it doesn’t entirely make sense for him to come over yet.
While the Sixers certainly need shooting help, they still have multiple guards on the roster whose roles they’re likely still evaluating. Nik Stauskas shot a career best 36.8 percent from three, Justin Anderson just joined the team in February, Jerryd Bayless missed basically all of last year with a torn wrist ligament and rookie Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot looked fantastic towards the end of the year.
Most of those players are not longterm solutions for the Sixers, but it seems unlikely they’d be willing to give up on guys like Stauskas, Anderson and Bayless before having one more year to evaluate their effectiveness and potential improvement.
The Sixers also have the third pick in this upcoming draft, and it’s quite possible they use the selection on another shooting guard, whether it be UCLA’s Lonzo Ball or Kansas’s Josh Jackson.
There’s also the question of whether or not Korkmaz could contribute at the next level, and after watching several of his games from this past year, our Wesley Share isn’t sure he’s ready for the jump just yet.
His body was the most significant roadblock to his NBA readiness a year ago, and having still not improved it at all, you’d like to get him into an NBA strength and conditioning program. But that doesn’t really make sense for the team right now. This is likely to be a launchpad summer for them, and using a valued roster spot on their fifth (!) 23-and-under wing when they likely want to see significant improvement next season seems unrealistic from a distance.
For Korkmaz, making the jump now rather than later certainly makes sense. He’s coming off a solid season, and as Wesley mentioned, getting Sixers strength coach Todd Wright to work with the lanky teenager would certainly be beneficial.
But the roster doesn’t seem to have enough room to fit Korkmaz just yet, and signing him at this juncture would come as a bit of a surprise.