Anadolu Efes Rumors
Furkan Korkmaz, similar to Dario Saric’s situation last year, has a buyout in his contract playing professional basketball in his native Turkey that would allow him to join the NBA. But, unlike Saric, who was the No. 12 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Korkmaz went No. 26 in 2016. That means a great deal because Korkmaz’s slotted NBA salary in the 2017-18 season would be $1.22 million. Saric’s, meanwhile, was $2.32 million during his recently completed rookie year with the Sixers after spending two seasons with Anadolu Efes in Istanbul. Since the league limits how much every team can contribute toward a buyout, it might not be financially feasible for the 19-year-old Korkmaz to join the Sixers now.
“I believe he’s got a desire to come (to Philadelphia),” Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo said on Wednesday at the team’s training facility. “He’s actually really long and he’s growing. He might be 6-7, 6-8 now and with ball skills. (He’s a) good decision-maker, shot-maker (and) does a lot of good things — very interesting player.”
While Korkmaz has put on nine or 10 pounds, he still needs to get stronger and gain more high-level experience. Colangelo saw Korkmaz play and then sat down to talk with him in Spain during the last week of April. Colangelo said he thinks Korkmaz is “emotionally ready (for the NBA, but) I think physically he’s got a ways to go. Dario was probably farther along, age-wise and experience-wise, when he was coming over.”
Colangelo attended Tuesday’s EuroLeague playoff game between Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz and CSKA Moscow in Vitoria, Spain. CSKA’s roster includes Serbian standout Milos Teodosic, a 6-foot-5 point guard whom ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla calls the best passer in the world. In addition to scouting talent, Colangelo will watch shooting guard Furkan Korkmaz play in the Basketball Champions League semifinals on Friday and Sunday in Tenerife, Spain. The Sixers selected Korkmaz with the 26th overall pick in the 2016 draft. The Turkish player remained in Europe because he could not get out of his contract with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Super Basketball League.
With free agency approaching for Thomas Heurtel on summer, it’s natural to consider options that possibly include the jump to the NBA. However, the French point guard, that averages 13.8 points and 6.3 assists in EuroLeague with Anadolu Efes, isn’t really fond of moving to the best league of the planet just to spend his time at the bench. “If I was offered with the opportunity, I’d seriously think about it,” he said in a lengthy interview for LNB.fr, the official website of the French League. “Of course, I’d study the possibilities carefully. The NBA is still a kid’s dream. But I I won’t go there to not play. The plan is that I’d I want to play minimum 10 to 15 minutes. I will listen to what offers I’ll have and see. But yes, it remains a dream and it’s an experience that I’d dream of knowing.”