The Philadelphia 76ers have gotten the most they could have asked for out of Furkan Korkmaz this year, which is the exact reason that they should trade him.
There’s little doubt now that Furkan Korkmaz has shown real improvement in his second season. He’s had an uptick in stats across the board and there really isn’t too much more the Philadelphia 76ers could have asked of the European wing. For that exact reason is why the franchise should be actively trying to trade the former first round pick.
In the past, I have been critical of Korkmaz in regards to being an inconsistent 3-point shooter and poor defender. Those two areas still need work, but he has shown that he could very well become a consistent 3-point shooter in time.
On the season, Korkmaz is averaging 6.5 points on 32.3 percent shooting on 3-pointers, but in six games as a starter, he’s averaged 12.2 points on 36.8 percent shooting from downtown. However, while his offense is coming along slowly, his defense isn’t progressing much. Based on his frame and physical gifts, it will be very hard for him to ever become an average defender.
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To put it simply, Korkmaz isn’t ready to be a contributor on a contender. That’s not to say that he won’t be one day, but he’s just not there yet. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except that the team didn’t exercise the option on his rookie contract and he’s now set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
There’s always the chance that Korkmaz doesn’t re-sign with the Sixers. The fact is that the European wing isn’t fully developed to a place where the team needs him to be at and there’s a chance of losing him for nothing this upcoming summer.
It would be in the club’s best interest to just trade him for a player who’s skill set is better equipped to help Philly fill their needs coming off the bench. Korkmaz does have value to rebuilding teams, so swapping him for a veteran wouldn’t be impossible.
If the recent game against the Atlanta Hawks revealed anything, the Sixers need more perimeter defense. However, getting any defender wouldn’t be wise, they would have to trade for a wing that’s an average 3-point shooter based on how the 76ers “Big 3” needs all the space possible to function. Korkmaz’s growing value, along with a second round pick or two, could help the Sixers trade for a perimeter defender.
Now if the Philadelphia 76ers had exercised the option on his contract or if Korkmaz was further along in his development, then there wouldn’t be any need trading him. However, neither of those things are what’s going on right now. Philly needs to maximize their championship chances and exchanging Korkmaz for a 3-and-D player would certainly help in that regard.