Philadelphia 76ers: Furkan Korkmaz continues to make leaps and bounds

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

While the Philadelphia 76ers have struggled as of late, Furkan Korkmaz’s development has been one of 2019’s best surprises.

The Philadelphia 76ers had years in recent memory that were forgettable. In the era of The Process, they decided to stockpile picks and hope some of those picks would turn into stars.

Michael Carter-Williams won Rookie of the Year in 2014, and Jahlil Okafor averaged 17.5 points per game in his rookie year. Both of those picks didn’t pan out though, but the Sixers did hit on Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Now Simmons and Embiid are called the prizes of that rebuilding era and have led the team to multiple 50 win seasons. They have become the faces of the franchise, and the team has been built around them.

There are other picks that they had that were notable that didn’t get much attention. Sixers fans can remember Dario Saric, who was a Rookie of the Year candidate that turned out to be a trade piece to get Jimmy Butler.

In 2016 the Sixers had another first-round pick besides Simmons. That was Furkan Korkmaz. Korkmaz was picked 26th overall that year and decided to stay overseas for a season.

In his third year, he is finally getting valuable playing time for this team and is getting better season after season.

In his first season, he only played 14 games and averaged 1.6 points per game. Then in his second season, he played in only 48 games and averaged 5.8 points per game. Finally, this year he has played in all the games, but one and he is averaging 8.2 points per game.

This season he is averaging a career-high 20.5 minutes per game. This year has shown that Korkmaz is ready to play in the NBA, and he can be relied on to provide quality bench minutes.

Last year the Sixers bench was notoriously bad. They were ranked 27th in bench scoring. The 76ers did not have any shot-creating in the second unit that could take the ball and get the team a bucket.

Korkmaz has that skill coming off the bench. He can create easy points around the basket. At three to less than 10 feet, only 53.3 percent of his points are assisted.

When the Sixers finally stepped out of The Process era and into the winning culture that they have now, one of the team’s nitches was shooting the three. This season they have gone away from that and have built a team that has a defensive identity.

After losing J.J. Redick, they don’t really have any player that can dominate behind the line. Korkmaz is one of the players they can rely on for 3 point shooting. He is shooting 37.7 percent from three this year.

Early in the season, when this team was on a winning streak, they needed somebody to make the clutch three in the corner against the Portland Trail Blazers. Korkmaz’s name was called upon, and he was able to deliver.

Next. Trae Young is the ideal Ben Simmons trade target. dark

The Philadelphia 76ers will need him down the stretch and he has the skills that the team needs to win games.