Today is a very special day for one member of the Sixers. Today is the 24th birthday of one of the team’s sharpshooters, Furkan Korkmaz.
On July 24th, 1997, Korkmaz was born in Istanbul and played throughout the BSL/Euroleague early on and showed great promise. He entered into the NBA draft and was drafted 26th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. He remained overseas for one more year before finally coming over to the 76ers.
Furkan Korkmaz has not had a perfect career in Philadelphia, but there have been many highs for him and for fans here in Philadelphia. However, he couldn’t have highs without his lows.
His rookie season was pretty uneventful, often being assigned to the G-league affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, that season. The next season, in Philadelphia’s first summer league game, Furkan dropped 40 points in a loss to the Celtics. As the year went on, Furkan continued to fall in and out of the rotation but recorded an excellent night on December 10th, 2018 putting up 18 points off the bench.
During this season, the Sixers declined the third-year option on Furkan’s rookie deal, seemingly with the idea that it was okay to move on from him in pursuit of an upgrade. As the off-season progressed, and Furkan had no other major deals imminent, and the Sixers were no longer looking for a substantial upgrade, Furkan Korkmaz was offered a two-year, minimum contract to stay on with the Sixers.
The production that Furkan turned in on this two-year deal was more than we could have asked for. He turned in scoring averages of 9.8 and 9.1 points per game while shooting 40.2% and 37.5% from three each of the two years. Furkan would also provide a game-winner on November 2nd, 2019, against the Portland Trailblazers, in which he splashed in a three-pointer with almost time on the clock.
Furkan has been nothing less than a true long ranger sniper for us these past two years and has continued to be one of my favorite players on the Sixers team. Watching him grow more confident and seeing friendship with Matisse Thybulle has been wonderful to see. I have loved having him on this team. He has had an up and down career for the 76ers and is an upcoming free agent. If he comes back, be excited and maybe even buy a Furkan jersey. If he leaves the Sixers, or the Sixers don’t make it a priority to resign him, though, he will always have a special place in the heart for that game-winner.