Former Sixers First-Rounder Sounds Off on Trade Rumors

Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz

Getty Matisse Thybulle #22, Furkan Korkmaz #30, Philadelphia 76ers

Former Philadelphia 76ers first-round pick Furkan Korkmaz spoke with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer about being involved in trade rumors this season. Korkmaz said that he has no issues with the Sixers or the rumors and just wants to play.

“I just let those guys handle it — my agent, my organization-wise,” Korkmaz told Pompey. “Right now, I don’t think it’s going to make a lot of sense for me to say anything about it because it’s not in my hands at some point.

“For me, the best thing that I can say is I want to be happy, you know? I want to be on the court. And whatever they think is working with the team, that’s fine with me.”

Korkmaz was drafted no. 26 by the Sixers in the 2016 NBA Draft but did not come over to the NBA until 2017. Korkmaz has not been too involved in the Sixers’ rotation this season. He’s appeared in only 23 games this season, where he’s averaged four points, 1.2 rebounds, and 0.8 assists while shooting 39.5 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from three.

Korkmaz’s statistics are down because the Sixers have not played him many minutes, even when he’s played. This season, he’s averaged 10.9 minutes, which is slightly over half the minutes he’s played a game compared to the three previous seasons of 21.1, 19.3, and 21.7 minutes.

‘Rising Expectation’ Sixers Will Look to Move Korkmaz

Marc Stein reported on his Substack on January 14 that the Sixers are expected to move one of Korkmaz or former Sixers’ first-round pick Jaden Springer to save money on their luxury tax bill.

“There is a rising expectation that Philadelphia will look to move either Jaden Springer or Furkan Korkmaz before the Feb. 9 trade deadline in hopes of shedding luxury-tax dollars,” Stein said.

Springer has had an even lesser role with the Sixers than Korkmaz, playing in only six games where he has averaged 2.8 points and 1.2 rebounds while shooting 63.6 percent from the field in four minutes a game.

On January 12, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports detailed both the Sixers’ salary cap situation as well as who else might be on the market besides Korkmaz and Springer.

“There is also a financial aspect that may underscore the Sixers’ trade deadline efforts if the right upgrades don’t materialize,” Fischer said. “This season currently marks Philadelphia’s third straight year as a taxpayer, which would subject the Sixers to pay repeater tax rates on every dollar over the 2023-24 tax threshold. The Sixers are hovering just above this year’s tax line at present, which could put players like Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, and Jaden Springer in the trade conversation.”

Sixers Will Be ‘Active’ to Add to its Roster

While Fischer said that the Sixers may look to trade some of their players to save money, he also said that they will search for players to add to their quest for a title due to their solid play despite injuries.

“Philadelphia will be active in exploring ways to add to its quest for a championship,” Fischer said. “Philadelphia officials have been encouraged by the pairing of Joel Embiid and James Harden, as well as the team’s overall performance, despite each All-Star, Tyrese Maxey, and other contributors missing significant time due to injury.”

The Sixers are 27-16. In the Eastern Conference standings, they are just half a game behind both the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks for the no. 2 seed while being four and a half games behind the Boston Celtics for the no. 1 seed. With 39 games left, adding help to their roster could prove all the difference both in what seed they finish with and how far they go in the playoffs.

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