On Monday, Tyler Monahan wrote a piece discussing Jonah Bolden’s fit on this Philadelphia 76ers roster after his performance in the NBA Summer League. He concluded that because of a subpar Summer League performance, Bolden may benefit from a little more stewing in the G-League ovens with personnel in Delaware.
What about a player that had a pretty darn good Summer League performance for the Sixers: Furkan Korkmaz?
In six games, Korkmaz averaged 16.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in about 25 minutes per game. The former 26th pick in the 2016 draft only shot 38.3% from the field, but shot 37% from three in just under eight attempts per game.
Korkmaz’s crown jewel of Summer League came on July 6th when he dropped 40 points, thanks to eight three-pointers, and grabbed six rebounds.
(Is it incredibly petty that I have an evil grin because Korkmaz did that against the Celtics? Yes? Just checking.)
That performance and his overall work in Vegas begs a question. Should Korkmaz see a bigger role (or more minutes) than what we saw last season? Last year, the guard from Turkey only saw action in 14 games in mostly garbage time opportunities.
Given the Sixers depth at the wing positions, maybe Korkmaz will get more playing time in the 2018-2019 season. Look who he has to compete against for minutes.
Assuming the videos of Markelle Fultz are true and he shows off an insane amount of improvement, I don’t see how Korkmaz gets minutes over him. Some combination of Fultz, Robert Covington, and J.J. Redick will likely be the season opening starters depending on how training camp shakes out. (J.J. to the bench is just my personal feeling.)
The rest is … meh.
Towards the end of the season, here are the Sixers bench players who logged minutes at shooting guard and small forward (the two positions Korkmaz could THEORETICALLY play). (I’m not counting TJ McConnell because he’s a point guard. You can count him if you like, but he’s not a “wing” in the sense that I’m describing.)
- Marco Belinelli: 28 games played, 26.3 minutes per game
- Markelle Fultz: 14 games played, 18.1 minutes per game
- Justin Anderson: 38 games played, 13.7 minutes per game
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot: 52 games played, 15.5 minutes per game
Belinelli has returned to the San Antonio Spurs, and the Sixers added Wilson Chandler via a trade with the Denver Nuggets. Fultz, Anderson, and TLC remain, so how many minutes could Korkmaz see in theory?
We covered Fultz, Covington, and Redick, which brings me to the newly acquired Wilson Chandler. Chandler has played in 11 seasons, making him that popular word: “veteran”. If Fultz is starting, the first three players off the bench (in some order) might be Chandler, T.J., and Redick.
The reason for bringing in Chandler was wing depth, and while he isn’t an All-NBA defender (-0.4 DBPM last year), he provides a better option to guard bigger wings than Redick or Belinelli simply because of his size.
McConnell was very important during the playoff run, spelling Simmons and in some cases even being more effective than the Rookie of the Year. (What one-point game in a playoff game? I don’t recall that. I have no idea what you’re all talking about.) That alone makes him a bench staple. McConnell really should have gotten A VOTE for Sixth Man of the Year. Marco Belinelli got a third place vote. That’s not a joke. He really did.
Could Korkmaz take minutes from the Justin Anderson/TLC combo? If I were to make an educated guess, that would be it. Luwawu-Cabarrot hasn’t developed as well as we hoped. I honestly didn’t know he played in 52 games. I thought it was way less than that total.
Anderson played a part of the Sixers closing out the Miami Heat in the playoffs because of his toughness. But the team also needs all the shooting it can get from the wing positions, and 33% on seven shots per game (yikes) isn’t gonna do it for me.
Let’s give Korkmaz a split of the Anderson/TLC combo (about 15 minutes per game). Could he do better than the 5.8 ppg on 33.5% shooting from three that TLC gave the team, or the 6.2 ppg on 33.0% shooting the Sixers got from Justin Anderson?
Early in the season, it’s at least worth a look, right?
Why the hell not, Sixers?