Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo spoke to the media after some of the team’s pre-draft workouts today. Given yesterday’s report about Furkan Korkmaz visiting the Sixers and potentially joining the team this summer, Colangelo spoke about the Turkish wing at length.
“He’s coming over to just visit with the staff, get in the gym and work out with us. It was an idea that I believe he and his agent talked about and we’ve been talking quite a bit about getting to know him better,” Colangelo said. “I’ve spent some time overseas watching him play this year and talking to him and doing some things where he's got a better feel for where he his and who he is at this stage of his development. We want to get a better, closer look at him, get him in the gym. I want the coaches to get a better feel for him before the decision is made as to what happens roster wise next year. There’s still talk and he’s got a desire to come over this year but I think all that is still subject to discussion.”
Korkmaz still needs to put on some weight before he adjusts to NBA competition and the physicality of this league, a fact that’s not lost on Colangelo. He mentioned that “getting with our strength and conditioning staff and performance staff and talking about ways to get better bigger stronger” is important.
“He’s a good athlete but he needs to put some weight on and get a little bit stronger,” Colangelo said. “You can just see [how] him here working out with some of our guys will give him a better feel for where he is and give us a better feel for how he rates right now.”
Colangelo isn’t making any definitive claims regarding Korkmaz’s place on the Sixers’ roster next year because of Korkmaz’s contract situation with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League (Who knows with this guy?). He said, “There’s a buyout in his contract that will be somewhat restrictive with respect to him coming over given his draft slot and slotted salary within the rookie scale.”
Korkmaz’s buyout with Efes is approximately two million dollars with the Sixers able to contribute $675,000 towards that. The rookie scale salary for the 26th pick was about $1.02 million this past season. The Sixers can offer him up to 120% of that and pay him about $1.23 million in his first year with the the team, but it still might not be the best financial move for Korkmaz to come over this summer.
Korkmaz’s commitments internationally for Turkey may prevent him from playing in Summer League even if he isn’t on the Sixers roster next season. Regarding that, Colangelo said, “There’s an under-20 competition that I know the Turkish national team would like him to participate in. We would like him to participate in summer league. That’s another point of discussion we’re having, so that’s not completely off the table.”
With the Sixers’ own high lottery pick this month, possibly Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot for his second go-around in summer league and maybe Korkmaz, the Sixers could once again have one of the most entertaining teams this summer in Las Vegas.