Korkmaz finally came over to the NBA from Europe last season after being the 26th overall pick in 2016. While Korkmaz had somewhat high expectations after being a first-round pick stash, he didn’t get a ton of chances last year with the Sixers.
Korkmaz played scarcely off the bench last season averaging 1.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.3 assists per game. He also struggled with his shot last season, shooting 29% on only 17 threes. It was rare to see Korkmaz play in anything but garbage time minutes last season. While he still won’t be a normal rotation player this year, the Sixers will likely count on him more than last season due to the loss of Marco Belinelli and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
Notable Offseason Points
Korkmaz had a very odd and eventful summer league. He averaged 16.2 points per game and 4 rebounds per game during the Las Vegas Summer League this past July. But the real headliner of his summer was his 40-point game against Boston in the Summer Sixers opening game. Korkmaz shot a ridiculous 8-14 from beyond in the game, and it was an absolute pleasure to watch. It was only the 5th time a player scored 40+ points in a summer league game. He then followed that game with a four-point dud against the Lakers.
While it was certainly an eventful summer league for Korkmaz, he didn’t prove himself worthy a solid rotation spot. He showed many flashes but was very inconsistent. It has yet to be determined if he is capable of playing 7-12 minutes off the bench for the Sixers this upcoming season.
Strengths and Areas of Improvement
Korkmaz was in and out between the G-League and the NBA last year, so no one is completely sure what he can bring to a competitive NBA roster. One of his strengths that was shown in summer league is his shot, including his off the dribble shot form. His shot looked very smooth this summer and he was making a lot also. He has some raw playmaking ability but hasn’t really showcased it in a real NBA game yet.
One area that needs major improvement from Korkmaz is his defense. He has nice athleticism and range for a wing but still needs to put on strength. If he wants to play important bench minutes for the Sixers this season he will be tasked with tough assignments on defense. Should he find himself on the court against the Celtics, he will most likely find himself against Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. That is a tall task for someone who has only played 17 NBA games in his career. Last year, an area where the Sixers got exposed on defense was against Marco Belinelli. If Korkmaz wants to be a part of this team, he will have to improve his overall defense.
Korkmaz will also need to get stronger, both physically and mentally, if he is ready to take the next step in his NBA career. There are many questions surrounding him and whether he is ready yet to play for the Sixers. If he wants to have a big role on the team, he will need to be mentally tough. He hasn’t shown the ability to be the number 2 or 3 option on a team yet. Whether it’s the Turkish national team or the Summer Sixers, he has really only played as a number 1 option so far. It is yet to be seen whether he can thrive in a lesser offensive role. If he can improve in these areas, his pure shooting can be very helpful to the Sixers this upcoming season.
Expectations and Predictions
It is tough to predict what Korkmaz will do this year because we are really not sure what his minutes will look like. Will he play a similar role to Marco Belinelli last season, or will he continue to float between the Blue Coats and the Sixers?
I’d say he plays in around 40-50 games for the Sixers this season, averaging around 8 minutes per game. I’d put him in the neighborhood of 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game. If he starts to get more minutes than I expect in the beginning of the season, we could see him put in between 6-10 points per game. But right now, I only expect Korkmaz to be a minor contributor this season for the Sixers.
Editor’s Note: Beginning September 27 and continuing up until the start of the season, we will be profiling each member of the current 76ers’ roster. Be sure to check out our schedule below and hear what our writers expect from our Sixers players.
|September 27||Jonah Bolden||October 8||Wilson Chandler|
|September 29||Shake Milton||October 10||JJ Redick|
|September 30||Zhaire Smith||October 11||Robert Covington|
|October 1||Furkan Korkmaz||October 13||Dario Saric|
|October 3||Amir Johnson||October 14||Markelle Fultz|
|October 4||Mike Muscala||October 15||Ben Simmons|
|October 6||Landry Shamet||October 16||Joel Embiid|
|October 7||TJ McConnell|