Furkan Korkmaz knows what it feels like to be disgruntled with an NBA organization. Throughout his first two seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Turkish sharpshooter failed to see a ton of minutes, despite showing flashes down in the G League with the Delaware Blue Coats early on.
At a point last season, Korkmaz went as far as requesting a trade from the Sixers, but the front office never granted his wish. And as Philly didn't pick up the team option on his contract for a third season, Korkmaz assumed he might've played his final minutes in Philly when the 2018-2019 NBA season concluded.
Like Korkmaz, Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler didn't expect to be back in Philly following last year's heartbreaking playoff loss. While he entertained the idea of returning on a max contract at times, Butler ultimately searched for a way to land down in Miami.
At this point, Butler has detailed what went wrong between himself and the Sixers several times. A lack of leadership from above admittedly bothered Butler. However, from Korkmaz's perspective, he believes Butler didn't see himself fit into Philly's chemistry, which became obvious during the 2019-2020 NBA season.
"Jimmy has always been someone that spoke out when he sees something wrong or missing," Korkmaz explained to EuroHoops.net. "This kind of player that intervenes too much is not so welcome in the teams, especially by the coaches.”
It's apparent that Butler and former Sixers head coach Brett Brown didn't see eye to eye. Early on during his short tenure with the 76ers, Butler reportedly challenged some of Brown's decisions and didn't exactly embrace his laid-back coaching style, which caused a lack of accountability on the team.
Ironically enough, Sixers guard Josh Richardson, who previously played for the Heat, brought up those concerns regarding Brown following the Sixers' 2019-2020 NBA Playoff run. Despite his concerns with the Sixers, Richardson still embraces his role on the team moving forward. Butler, however, didn't see it the same way.
"I think that Jimmy never felt that he belonged with our team," Korkmaz stated. "He never felt part of our chemistry. So he couldn’t be so happy. Jimmy in Miami has a completely different image, body language, and game. In the end, it is the same Jimmy, but he just didn’t feel part of our chemistry.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_