Philadelphia 76ers veteran Furkan Korkmaz turned just 24-years-old on Saturday. Being that Korkmaz took a different route to the NBA as an international player, the talented sharpshooter entered the league at an early age, making it seem as if he's older than a lot of his peers.
Korkmaz came to the NBA ahead of the 2017-2018 season. Before joining the Sixers, Korkmaz got his professional start with the notable Turkish pro club Anadolu Efes of the Euro League. In 2016, Korkmaz was one of 13 international players to have his name entered into the NBA Draft.
When the 26th pick in the draft came around, Korkmaz was selected by the Sixers. Although he didn't join them right away, Korkmaz suited up in a 76ers uniform after playing one more season with Anadolu Efes.
In his rookie season, Korkmaz spent time in the NBA G League. He did, however, appear in 14 games with the Sixers that year. During his first season, Korkmaz failed to make an impact on Philly's roster.
In year two, he showed some more promise. After becoming a free agent, Korkmaz found his way back to the Sixers for the 2019-2020 season by signing a two-year deal. Becoming a regular contributor for the team's primary rotation, Korkmaz appeared in 72 games for the Sixers in 2019-2020. That year, he averaged a career-high of 9.8 points per game while hitting 40-percent of his threes.
Although his three-point percentage dropped slightly to 38-percent the following year, Korkmaz still managed to average nine points with fewer minutes of playing time. In a couple of weeks, Korkmaz will have to make a critical decision regarding his future. As the 24-year-old just wrapped up year two of his contract with the Sixers, he's set to become a free agent once again.
Will Korkmaz return to Philly? The Turkish sharpshooter made it clear he'd like to, following the Sixers' Game 7 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks last month. In addition to his postgame message last month, Korkmaz also celebrated his birthday on Saturday with a Sixers-themed cake.
Korkmaz has made it clear that he'd like to return to the 76ers for a fifth season on several occasions. Now, the question is will the Sixers bring him back? While Korkmaz has been one of Philly's most reliable three-point shooters over the last two seasons, he might be able to land a better contract elsewhere.
The budget is going to be tight for the Sixers this offseason, and they seem to be looking to shake up the roster a bit. While they could consider bringing Korkmaz back, it's unclear if they'll make his potential return a priority or not.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.