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Checking in with Furkan Korkmaz in FIBA World Cup action

Philadelphia fans can rightfully be optimistic about the 22-year-old’s play on the international stage

2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup - USA v Turkey Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2019 FIBA World Cup is underway in China and 54 current NBA players are among the rosters taking part in the action. One particular player who Sixers fans have their eye on is recently re-signed wing Furkan Korkmaz. A couple weeks ago, we detailed how the 22-year-old Korkmaz was playing well in preliminary play for Turkey.

Those strong performances have carried over to the main event. In Sunday’s 86-67 win over Japan, Korkmaz had 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. It was a fairly ho hum line for Furkan, but he looked like Hermes wearing winged shoes on a couple soaring slams.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: let’s see him play well against real competition! Does Team USA qualify as a quality opponent?

Yesterday, in Turkey’s 93-92 overtime loss to Team USA where the 12 Giant Men blew chances to win at both the end of regulation and overtime (four straight missed free throws!), Furkan played an integral role. He dropped 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting (3-of-6 from 3), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

Something about going up against guys in the Celtics’ organization seems to bring out the best in Korkmaz. First the epic Summer League game of legend, now this outing against a USA squad featuring four Celtics. Do we have a new Boston Strangler? (No, no we don’t.)

Turkey is now 1-1 in Group E, needing a win over the Czech Republic squad on Thursday to advance. Sorry, Tomas Satoransky, but I want to see more Furkan!

Korkmaz is not the only FIBA World Cup player in the greater Sixers cinematic universe. The Sixers also still hold the rights to Serbian guard Vasilije Micic after selecting him in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft.

Micic is part of the Nikola Jokic-led Serbian squad that currently sits 2-0 in Group D, already securing advancement out of the group stage with a game against Italy yet to come. In Sunday’s 105-59 victory over Angola, Micic tallied 8 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal. Then, in Monday’s 126-67 win over the Philippines, Micic was 5-of-6 from the field for 11 points, 2 rebounds, a game-high-tying 7 assists, and 2 steals.

Micic recently said he is hopeful about coming overseas. Coming off a strong EuroLeague season with Anadolu Efes, and looking sharp in FIBA World Cup action, he might receive heavy consideration from the Sixers next summer.

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