Saturday, October 1, 2022

Sixers likely to trade veteran Flamethrower this season, analyst says

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Last season was tough for the Philadelphia 76ers on the bench. At the end of the regular season, the second unit finished a miserable 27th in assists and 28th in scoring. And it’s not difficult to understand why.

With relative star power at the top of the roster – Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey – the team lacked consistent contributors on the bench. Georges Niang led the bench on 9.2 points a night, followed by Shake Milton on 8.2. Milton led the bench in assists with 2.5, just a half-assist higher than backup colleague Andre Drummond (2.0).

But none fought as hard as Furkan Korkmaz. In his fifth season with Philadelphia, Korkmaz’s shooting declined from three to a career-worst 28.9%. He still saw plenty of action – about 21 minutes a night – but failed to live up to his tally as microwave goalscorer from the bench.

Now that the Sixers have patched the bench unit significantly, Korkmaz’s time in Philadelphia could be coming to an end. At least according to Liberty Ballers’ Sean Kennedy, who recently predicted Korkmaz’s future in Philadelphia.

Kennedy was clear about drawing a line between the type of player that Korkmaz is and how he performs on the pitch. As for the former, there is no problem: Korkmaz is energetic, brings toughness and sharpness and generally creates a good atmosphere on the pitch.

But in reality, Korkmaz’s performance last season was too terrible to ignore. And Kennedy thinks the Turkey shooter could struggle to find time this season. What’s more, he could find himself on another team before the end of the season.

“I don’t expect Korkmaz to be part of the main rotation from the start. I’m sure he’ll get his minutes both as Doc Rivers progresses through the back end of the roster based on matchups and as guys pick up minor injuries here and there. However, the most likely outcome still looks like Furkan leaving Philadelphia via the trade. The team just has so few salary adjustment options. Well, if Korkmaz shoots the ball well and the team decides to keep it close, luckily I would be wrong. Every club needs a rainmaker,” Kennedy wrote.

Just two seasons ago, Korkmaz looked like he could have a bright future in Philadelphia. He shot 40% of three on nearly five attempts per game. But he’s failed to build on that promise, falling in each of his last two campaigns in Philadelphia.

Currently, Korkmaz has the Sixers’ sixth-highest salary for next season at $5 million. It’s a relative bargain, but perhaps still too expensive for the Sixers’ front office. That’s because Korkmaz might be paid like the Sixers’ sixth-best option, but he’s far from it.

In a recent ranking of Sixers rosters released by Bleacher Report, Korkmaz was the 12th best Sixer going into next season, just ahead of untested sophomore Jaden Springer. Korkmaz was dinged for inconsistent shooting and an inability to contribute anything else on the ground.

But for another team, having the chance to rehabilitate a young talent could be tempting. He’s two years away from free agency and his contract only increases to $5.4 next season. Currently, the estimated market value of Korkmaz is $10.2 million per Cleaning the Glass. So maybe a young and hungry Team Sixers boss Daryl Morey is making an offer for Korkmaz while the player is still relatively cheap.

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