Furkan Korkmaz Has Found His Confidence
PHILADELPHIA, PA (973espn.com) — For some time over the past summer, it seemed like Furkan Korkmaz's stint with the Philadelphia 76ers was over. As the 22-year-old guard wrapped up an underwhelming two-year stint in Philly, the Sixers were hesitant in inking Korkmaz to a new deal.
In search of familiarity, the Sixers decided to give the young 'bomber' another shot. Therefore, Furkan landed another two-year deal with the team that initially drafted him. And as everybody anticipated some new improvements from other high-profile players on the roster, Korkmaz unexpectedly became one of the most improved players on the squad.
Last season, Korkmaz appeared in 48 games, where he averaged around 5.8 points in roughly 14 minutes. This season, Korkmaz has seen an increase in his minutes through the first nine matchups, averaging 21 minutes and producing just under ten points-per-game. While there's still a long season to go, it seems like more minutes could be in play for the veteran guard as his confidence continues to build over time.
"I think the first thing is the mentality," Sixers' head coach Brett Brown says when discussing the new and improved Korkmaz. "He came in and made a big shot in Portland. It produces confidence. His route [from] where he was, to where he is, that’s quite a story. I still look at him as somebody we’ve kind of nurtured and grown, and now he’s becoming a greatly improved defender. I think it all points back to confidence.”
Brett Brown isn't the only one to notice that Korkmaz's confidence is currently at an all-time high. Even one of the locker room leaders, Tobias Harris, can see the difference in the guard. "He has a lot of confidence in his shot," Harris said following Sunday night's win against the Hornets after Korkmaz knocked down 17 points in 27 minutes.
"We’ve been able to find him and he has a quick release too so he can get it off. He’s just playing with a lot of confidence, I think. We were joking with him after Portland saying he’s a new man, but he is starting to play like it too.”
Apparently, all it took was a game-winning shot for Korkmaz to start looking like a brand new player. Now whether it's just a temporary boost of confidence, or truly the start of a new beginning for the young guard, the Sixers are quite pleased with what has been put on display through the first nine games so far.