When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for veteran forward Danny Green, the move was met with praise. Not necessarily because of the return at first, but because the Sixers were able to dish out Al Horford's expensive contract to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
At this point, landing Danny Green is just the icing on the cake. While Green has received his fair share of criticism throughout the year, the veteran sharpshooter has brought a lot to the table for the Sixers this year.
Sixers veteran reserve Furkan Korkmaz is one of a handful of players who have really benefitted from Green's presence. Two seasons ago, Korkmaz looked up to veteran guard JJ Redick. Last season, the Sixers didn't have anybody of that stature in the building for Korkmaz and other young players to learn from.
This season, Green has filled that void. “He’s trying to do a team mentality,” Korkmaz explained. “He’s trying to play team defense well. Then you’re good because you’re on the same page. All the five guys, when you’re on the same page, you can guard anybody. Not just defensively, offensively too. Danny likes to talk, so he’s really helpful. I think it’s a good thing to have him around. He’s got rings. He’s got experience. We all got to be hungry to listen.”
Like Korkmaz, Sixers second-year guard Matisse Thybulle has also made it clear that he's benefitted from Green's leadership a lot this season too. As both, Korkmaz and Thybulle look to improve in other areas of their game, Green is the guy both players are looking up to as they play a similar game.
For Thybulle, he wants to improve on offense, so he strives to be able to hit threes consistently like Green. As for Korkmaz, he wants to improve on the defensive side of the ball as that would surely allow him to earn more minutes moving forward.
“To be honest, I like Danny’s mentality on defense,” Korkmaz said. “He’s trying to lead the first unit with Ben (Simmons) and Joel (Embiid). Overall, he’s trying to be a team defense player and an individual really good defensive player. That’s what I learned from Danny.”
Korkmaz still has a lot of work to do on defense, but the young sharpshooter has shown improvements on that side of the ball this season. Perhaps, Danny Green has something to do with that.