The Sixers ran it back after all! Philadelphia fans made it a rallying cry to bring back the 2018-19 roster that came four bounces (plus an overtime and two additional series, but who’s counting?) short of a title. Finally, Elton Brand heeded their wishes, bringing back integral reserve Furkan Korkmaz on a veteran minimum deal. Did you know Furkan logged the 10th-most minutes among players for the Sixers last season?
Well, maybe that wasn’t quite what the RIB movement had in mind. Nevertheless, we’re happy to welcome Korkmaz back into the fold, if nothing else, then to meet the team’s designated quota for number of Furkans on the roster (set at 1.0 back in 2014 with two years of non-compliance in 2015-16 and 2016-17). More seriously, Furkan’s return means the Sixers have one remaining roster spot for the upcoming season. Let’s take a quick moment to clarify where things stand in Philadelphia.
As a reminder, during the season, the team can hold 15 players in the active roster, plus the two two-way contracts. During the offseason, the roster limit is 20 players, which includes the two-way contracts. So think of the current allowed allotment as 15 (the regular roster) + 2 (two-way guys) + 3 (training camp invitees).
Here are your Sixers, as of July 25, 2019:
Standard Roster (14): [1 slot remaining]
Primary Ball Handlers (3): Ben Simmons, Raul Neto, Shake Milton
Wings (5): Josh Richardson, James Ennis, Zhaire Smith, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz
Stretch Forwards (3): Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, Jonah Bolden
Big Men (3): Joel Embiid, Al Horford, Kyle O’Quinn
Two-Way Contracts (2): [full]
Norvel Pelle, Marial Shayok
Training Camp Invitees (1): [2 slots remaining]
Quick sidebar on Christ Koumadje, who is on an Exhibit 10 contract, as there still seems to be some confusion as to what that deal entails. Exhibit 10 deals are one-year deals for the minimum salary and include a guaranteed training camp invite. A player on an Exhibit 10 contract can either have his contract converted to a two-way contract, or be waived. If waived, the player will receive a $50,000 bonus if he signs with the team’s G League affiliate and remains there for at least 60 days.
Exhibit 10 contracts exist to make the G League more financially competitive as an alternative to players signing overseas for more lucrative deals. In all likelihood given his signing of an Exhibit 10 (and the Sixers already having two players on two-way contracts), Koumadje will be a member of the Delaware Blue Coats this season. He does not currently count against the salary cap or the 15-man regular roster (although he does count as one of the 20 offseason roster spots).
With one regular roster spot and two additional offseason roster spots remaining, what will be Elton Brand’s next moves? The two other training camp guys could come from the pool of players who competed for the Sixers in Vegas Summer League. P.J. Dozier had some good moments and might be an option. He said this week that his agent has heard from Philadelphia.
As for the regular roster spot still available, Brand could sign one of the lingering veterans still floating around (think Thabo Sefolosha, Vince Carter, etc.). Alternatively, he could keep it open for a rotating 10-day contract carousel and try to catch the equivalent of Corey Brewer’s lightning in a bottle, with an eye towards eventually filling it with a buy-out guy (not optimal, but it’s what Brand did last year so it’s a possibility).
Stay tuned. You think this is the quiet period of the NBA calendar, but you never know when another Woj bomb will strike and suddenly Furkan Korkmaz is a Sixer again.