By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
With NBA decision makers scratching their heads about how to stop Golden State from winning the title every year in the foreseeable future, the 2017 NBA draft inches ever closer (it’s now less than three weeks away). Meanwhile, we have news on the Philadelphia 76ers front related to a key part of the team’s 2016 draft class.
Source: Furkan Korkmaz is traveling to Philadelphia. He wants NBA, but Sixers could re-stash him at Anadolu Efes. Has $2M out.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 4, 2017
Taken by the Sixers with the 26th overall pick last summer, Korkmaz is heading to Philadelphia to make his case for joining the team in 2017. The 19-year-old wing is under contract for two more seasons with Turkish club Anadolu Efes. Like everyone’s favorite transatlantic import, Dario Saric, there’s a buyout in his deal which would allow Korkmaz to pay Anadolu Efes in order to renege on his contract and join an NBA team.
As Pick mentioned, Korkmaz’s buyout amount is $2M, of which Philadelphia could only contribute $675k. The rest would have to come out of Korkmaz’s salary with the Sixers, which would only start at around $1.22M. Despite the 19-year-old’s stated desire to come stateside, the financial part of it doesn’t make sense for him. He would basically be playing at a slight net loss to his own net worth next season if he comes over.
In addition to financial implications, there’s not exactly a wide-open spot on the roster right now for Korkmaz. Here are the list of players already under guaranteed contract for next season:
1. Joel Embiid
2. Ben Simmons
3. Dario Saric
4. Robert Covington* (technically, club option, but going to be back)
5. Richaun Holmes* (technically, non-guaranteed, but going to be back)
6. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
7. TJ McConnell* (technically, non-guaranteed, but going to be back)
8. Jerryd Bayless
9. Nik Stauskas
10. Jahlil Okafor
11. Justin Anderson
The team’s third overall pick would bring the roster to 12, not to mention Philadelphia’s four second-round picks and the fact that Bryan Colangelo has made it clear he’s going to be active in free agency. I’m not sure exactly how Korkmaz would fit in at the moment.
Forkmaz’s outside shooting would certainly help fill a need for the Sixers; he shot 43.7% from three last year with Anadolu Efes and Banvit B.K. (where he was playing on loan). However, scouts basically universally agree that the young man needs some additional time to grow into his body before he’s ready to handle the physicality of the NBA. Combine that with the financial restraints and the current shape of the roster, and it seems unlikely we’ll see Korkmaz at the Wells Fargo Center this upcoming season.
As much as we would all like another Furkan back in our lives, it’s probably best for everybody if Korkmaz’s Sixers debut waits until at least 2018.