Ben Simmons wasn’t the only Philadelphia 76ers' first rounder not to play his rookie season. Furkan Korkmaz, the 26th overall pick, spent last season playing for Banvit B.K. in Turkey.
He was voted as Basketball Champions League Best Young Player in the league’s inaugural season. On Wednesday, Korkmaz arrived in Philadelphia’s practice facility in Camden, N.J., to work out, meet with his teammates and converse with the front office.
It’s unclear if Korkmaz will be on the active roster come the fall, but there’s a chance he’ll play in NBA summer league next month.
Korkmaz, who will turn 20-years old in July, wants to play in the NBA this season -- but there are two clear hurdles he’ll have to jump to make it happen.
The first deals with his European buyout. Korkmaz spent time in Banvit on a loan from his original Anadolu Efes team.
The second deals with the full Sixers roster, and Bryan Colangelo’s desire to make room for the 6-foot-7 wing. The Sixers have eight players fully committed for next year, and five more with player options, four of which will certainly be picked up. That leaves three roster spots.
Philly has the third overall pick, four second round picks, and also the lingering question surrounding Jahlil Okafor’s status with the team. Philadelphia won’t use all four second round picks, but even so, the roster becomes increasingly crowded.
Korkmaz wouldn’t be assured playing time, especially with Jerryd Bayless returning from injury, as well as the established Gerald Henderson and Nik Stauskas, and the unknown position of the high lottery pick the Sixers' will select this month.
But Korkmaz has a willingness to play in the NBA. He averaged 10.4 points and shot 48.8 percent on 3-pointers with Banvit. Korkmaz fits perfectly with the Sixers moving forward. He’s a capable shooter that should thrive in any Simmons-led lineup.