Furkan Korkmaz Dreams of Playing in NBA for Sixers, But When? - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Furkan Korkmaz Dreams of Playing in NBA for Sixers, But When?

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    Furkan Korkmaz Dreams of Playing in NBA for Sixers, But When?
    CSNPhilly.com
    Furkan Korkmaz dreams of playing in NBA for Sixers, but when?

    CAMDEN, N.J. -- Furkan Korkmaz wants to play for the Sixers. The question is not if, but when.

    Korkmaz traveled to Philadelphia last week to get to know the team that drafted him 26th overall last year better, and vice versa. He is under contract with Anadolu Efes in Istanbul, where he has a buyout that could keep him in Europe for another season.

    "My dream is to be NBA player," Korkmaz said Monday at the Sixers' training complex. "I am looking for that next year. Nobody knows yet what's going to happen for the next season. We are talking about it and then we are going to decide in these couple weeks."

    Korkmaz is a work in progress at only 19 years old. He averaged 10.8 points (39.8 percent from three), 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season for Banvit. The Sixers want to evaluate the development of Korkmaz's game during the trip to Philadelphia.

    "My best is athleticism and shooting," Korkmaz said. "I think I do great on offense part. I need to improve my defense also."

    The Sixers closely monitored his performances with Anadolu Efes and while he was on loan to Banvit. Last month, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo and vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley attended the Basketball Champions league in Europe to watch Korkmaz, who won the Best Young Player award.

    "He has a lot of layers to his game, more than people think," Sixers senior director of basketball operations Vince Rozman said. "He can put the ball on the floor a little bit. He's a pretty good passer. He's confident for how old he is.

    "He's young, he's really young. His body needs to develop. A lot of it is just experience. But where he is right now, he's in a good place."

    On Monday Korkmaz took shots with Joel Embiid and participated in light five-on-five work with current Sixers including Ben Simmons, T.J. McConnell and Nik Stauskas. The Sixers felt it was important for Korkmaz to get to spend time with his potential future teammates. Korkmaz also has been receiving advice from Dario Saric, whom he played with for two seasons on Anadolu Efes.

    "They are good players," Korkmaz said of Embiid and Simmons. "They are big players and also they are young. I think I can communicate with them better because when you see that somebody's age is closer with you, I think you communicate better. They are all good creators which is good for me."

    Before Korkmaz decides where he will play next season, he still has to determine his summer plans. He has not made a decision yet about playing for the Sixers in summer league, which the team would like him to do. He does plan to participate in under-20 and EuroBasket competition for Turkey.

    Korkmaz will stay in Philadelphia until Friday.

    "He's a good one," said Rozman. "We're excited to have him."