Furkan Korkmaz is one of the longest-tenured players on the Philadelphia 76ers‘ roster, being a member of the team since he was drafted 26th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. Since then, his career has been full of ups and downs in the red, white, and blue jerseys.
Last season, he nearly fell out of the rotation completely under Doc Rivers. He appeared in 37 games last year, the second-lowest total only to his rookie year. Now, ahead of his 7th NBA season, Furk is looking to make an immediate impact under new head coach Nick Nurse.
Korkmaz’s Career So Far
Early on, the Turkish three-point specialist struggled, appearing in just 14 games his rookie season and shooting a measly 32.6% from three. The Sixers declined his two-year team option, and it appeared that the Turkish star wasn’t going to return until the 76ers offered him a 2 year, minimum contract where he could prove himself.
Furk responded positively to playing with so much to prove, taking his three-point shooting percentage from the 32.6% mark last year all the way up to 40.2% on nearly five three-pointers attempted per game. The next year, his three-point percentage dropped, but he was still a respectful 37.5% shooter from deep. After proving himself as a capable shooter over the course of his two-year minimum contract, Philadelphia rewarded him with a 3-year, $15 million deal.
Since then, Kork has had a hard time finding the right space to play his game. In the first year of his new contract, Korkmaz had to play out of position because of the Ben Simmons situation. By the time James Harden arrived, Korkmaz seemed out of rhythm. The next year, Korkmaz seemingly fell out of Doc Rivers’ rotation. As stated above, he only appeared in 37 games, averaging 9.5 minutes per game. However, he was able to show his abilities a little bit more, shooting 39.1% from three on a considerably lower volume.
How Korkmaz Can Prove Himself
Furkan Korkmaz is not a lock to make the rotation to start the year. He only appeared in one preseason game because he was nursing a leg injury, but in that game, he played well. In 20 minutes, he scored 8 points on 3/6 shooting from the field (and 1/2 from deep).
Last year, he was barely seen in the playoffs, playing in 11 total minutes during the postseason, with Doc Rivers choosing to go with other players. However, Furkan has shown that he can be a viable shooter in the right scheme. With the departure of Georges Niang, the Sixers will be in desperate need of a three-point shooter. While Philadelphia did sign Kelly Oubre Jr. and Danny Green, the Sixers will never have too much shooting and Furkan seems extremely motivated to prove himself in a contract year.
Despite not getting a lot of playing time last year, Furk was still able to show that he was staying ready. On top of that, Coach Nick Nurse is well known for getting the best out of his players, and Furkan Korkmaz has shown that he can be a steady rotational piece on a contending roster if all goes right.
Nurse loves to use motion and multiple off-ball screens in his offensive sets, something that could greatly benefit a pure shooter like Furkan Korkmaz. With the scheme on his side, and his motivation to prove himself, Furkan seems primed for a comeback season.