Korkmaz Explains Return to Sixers
When the Sixers declined to pick-up Furkan Korkmaz's option in October, it looked like it might spell the end of his time in Philadelphia. That ended up not being the case, though. After reportedly agreeing to play overseas in Turkey, Korkmaz signed a deal to return to the Sixers instead.
“We’re excited to have Furkan back and look forward to his continued growth and contributions,” Sixers general manager Elton Brand said. “He has a strong work ethic and he’s well-respected in our locker room. Having just turned 22, Furkan is a talented young player with significant potential, and we’re thrilled to have him on our roster.”
Korkmaz returning to Philadelphia was surprising, but in some ways it made sense. Even after making some big splashes in free agency, the Sixers still lacked wing shooting depth. The Sixers lost J.J. Redick to New Orleans and Jimmy Butler went to Miami. Those departures could open the door for Korkmaz to earn more minutes.
“The reason I stayed in Philadelphia was because of Butler and Redick. The team needed a shooter and I looked hot," Korkmaz told Fanatik.com. "In fact, the teams we talked to during the summer were different. Philadelphia was a surprise for me too. But on the one hand I look positive. "
The Turkish guard appeared in 48 games for the Sixers last season. He posted averages of 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds, shooting 32.6 percent from beyond the arc and 40 percent overall.
"So I've done some good work here, left people traces so that they called me back," Korkmaz continued. "After that, no one will come to you and say, 'Take 25 minutes, get out and play.' We need to fight the uniform. Otherwise, I could get very good contracts in Europe. ”
At just 22 years old, Korkmaz may have more potential then we've seen from him so far. He has earned All-Star honors in the Turkish Basketball Super League three times and is a two-time champion overseas. He'll still have to earn his minutes with young players like Mattise Thybulle and Zhaire Smith expected to be in the rotational mix. If Korkmaz is unable to crack the rotation, he may be in a similar situation as last year, one that had him requesting a trade due to lack of playing time.
Korkmaz and the Sixers begin preseason play on October 8 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Brandon Apter is a Sixers writer for 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.