Furkan Korkmaz hoping to contribute to Sixers this season
Season goals are different for every player.
For instance, Joel Embiid’s goals for the 2018-19 NBA season include winning (or at least contending for) the MVP Award, the DPOY award, and leading the Sixers to an NBA Finals appearance, and for Joel all of those goals are realistic.
Second-year forward Furkan Korkmaz’s main goal is a bit milder – he just wants to consistently contribute to an ascending Sixers squad after appearing in just 14 games as a rookie.
“I want to be in the rotation this year, to play more, to have a more stable role on the team, and I want to help the team from different ways,” Korkmaz said at Sixers media day in September. “This is my second year, it is going to be really important to me. I want to show the people what I can do with the Sixers jersey in the rotation.”
Korkmaz, who the Sixers selected in the first round (26th overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft, followed up a solid Summer League performance with some promising preseason play. Korkmaz ended the preseason as the Sixers third-leading scoring (10.2 points per), despite playing just 12.4 minutes per performance. He shot 62% from the field and 53% from long distance; not too shabby.
Heading into the season, Korkmaz has a couple of things working in his favor. His strengths – shooting, floor-spacing – happen to be major needs for this Sixers squad, and following the offseason departures of Ersan Ilysova and Marco Belinelli, there is a dearth of bench shooting on the roster.
Thus, opportunity may very well present itself for Korkmaz, and it will ultimately come down to him taking advantage of it. His ability to compete on the defensive end – as well as consistently knock down shots - will likely have a major impact on how many minutes he is able to earn; something he is well aware of.
“The coaches, the staff, all the Sixers organization, they know what I can do on the court,” Korkmaz said. “My best is of course shooting, I can create also for my teammates, but I need to show something on defense.”
If he can demonstrate an ability to compete on both ends, Korkmaz's goal of working his way into the regular rotation could materialize.
Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb.