The Philadelphia 76ers looked like a team that was just ready to get out of the Las Vegas heat in their summer league finale. They fell to the Denzel Valentine led Chicago Bulls 99-82, and shot just 39.2 percent from the floor as a team. The loss gave Philadelphia a 2-6 record across all summer league games.
Some observations from the Sixers’ final game until October:
- Furkan Korkmaz took over as Philadelphia’s main scoring threat towards the end of the team’s stay in Las Vegas. Korkmaz, who led the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game coming into Friday night’s contest, finished with 22 points (9-16 FG) and eight rebounds. He even had the three-point stroke going as well, knocking down four of his nine attempts from beyond the arc, including back-to-back catch-and-shoot threes in the fourth quarter.
- Through his six summer league games, Korkmaz has definitely shown a ton of promise, particularly in his ability to create shots for himself. Not having Fultz with him for a majority of the games turned him into more of a playmaker, and he did a good job of getting some clean looks closer to the rim, while occasionally setting up his teammates as well. Being consistent with his three-point shooting will be crucial to both his playing time and how quickly he’ll earn playing time on the roster. There’s obviously an adjustment period to both the competition, and the distance of the NBA three-point line, but the perimeter shooting should definitely come with time. The 19-year-old will probably spend most of his rookie season in Delaware with the 87ers, but his NBA career certainly seems to be off to a good start.
- Melo Trimble made the most of his opportunity in the summer league finale. He finished with 16 points (7-9 FG), including 2-4 from beyond the arc. The former Maryland guard showed some glimpses of his ability to create for himself, using his dribble to moves to open up the necessary space for himself to knock down his perimeter shots. Philadelphia brought in a ton of guards to join their summer league roster, but Trimble and Larry Drew II (a DNP on Friday) could be the last men standing. Each NBA team can carry up to 20 players in training camp, and it’s quite possible the two will get the opportunity to duke it out for a two-way contract then.
Summer league may not have gone particularly as planned with Fultz’s injury, but guys like Korkmaz, Trimble and Drew took advantage of the situation. Jonah Bolden, who finished with just five points against the Bulls, also showed glimpses of the kind of impact he can have down the line on both ends of the floor.
For most of the Sixers, they’ll be off until training camp begins in mid-September. Korkmaz, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dario Saric will join their respective national teams for FIBA Eurobasket competition beginning on August 31.