Ready or not, another season of 76ers basketball is right around the corner. With that being said, it is once again time for preseason player profiles at Liberty Ballers.
In what was surely the most newsworthy Philadelphia 76ers trade request in the 2023 calendar year, Furkan Korkmaz asked to be traded back in February. Only appearing in 37 games and averaging 9.5 minutes per game last season (both marks his lowest since his rookie year in 2017-18), Korkmaz wanted to go somewhere that could offer more consistent playing time. However, Daryl Morey never found a deal to his liking, so Furkan still remains a Sixer, set to make $5.37 million entering the last year of a three-year contract.
Sadly, for the 26-year-old Korkmaz, I wouldn’t anticipate his playing time outlook being much different for the 2023-24 season. Not even including James Harden or a related trade return like, for instance, Terance Mann (because who knows how that saga will conclude), there are presumably four guards ahead of Furkan in the rotation: Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Jaden Springer, and Patrick Beverley. At the forward spots, Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House Jr. and Paul Reed would be expected to slot ahead of Korkmaz. Even Danny Green might make the roster and worm his way ahead of Furk.
Korkmaz being nailed to the bench is somewhat sad from a fan perspective, because he has brought us some really fun memories over the years. He became a Summer League god when he poured in 40 points against Boston back in 2018.
4️⃣0️⃣— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 7, 2018
Furkan Korkmaz hits 8 threes and finishes with 40 points pic.twitter.com/Y7pvA2WbgC
Furkan nailed a game-winning three to defeat Portland in November 2019, when he announced at the club later that night that it was the best day of his life. And who could forget when it made it rain, pouring in 34 points in a February 2020 home win over Memphis?
Korkmaz has always been a fun guy, but the shot has never been consistent enough, and he’s not a plus defender. To put it callously, his biggest remaining value to the franchise is his expiring contract, which could come in handy if Morey needs to thread the needle in matching salaries for a Harden or Tobias Harris trade.
Nevertheless, Furkan, I hope we get one more memorable on-court moment in a Sixers uniform from you before you head off to better playing time pastures.