Sixers Bench Stash Wowing in Europe, Challenges Russell Crowe

Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle

Getty Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle have been mentioned in Sixers trade rumors.

The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping Furkan Korkmaz rediscovers his shot this summer and reverts to the reliable sharpshooter he was for them in years past. The Turkish sensation just wasn’t the same player last season, with his deep ball often clanging hard off the rim.

Or, worse yet, his shot would miss everything in sight. Air balls aren’t acceptable in the NBA. And Korkmaz vowed to fix his broken shot when he addressed reporters last May.

“Shots was not going in. It was sometimes mental, sometimes physical,” Korkmaz said. “But I know the problem. I don’t need to say it right now, but I know where is the problem and where is the answer to [fixing] it so it’s not going to be hard for me to find it, and then keep getting better.”

If his recent play in a Eurobasket preparation game is any indicator, Korkmaz has his groove back. The Sixers wing put on a dazzling show against Greece: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist in 30 highlight-reel minutes. He was fantastic as he went 8-of-12 from the field while draining 4-of-6 from three-point land. (Editor’s note: Greece beat Turkey 89-80 to claim the Acropolis International Basketball Tournament title).

Need more Korkmaz content? Done deal. The 25-year-old released an epic hype video (1 minute, 5 seconds in length) which includes commentary from retired Sixers radio broadcaster Marc Zumoff. Korkmaz is also featured in a series of promotional videos aimed at driving tourism to his native country of Turkey.

More content! Korkmaz fired off a challenge to Russell Crowe after the Oscar-winning actor applauded Turkey’s beauty on Twitter. What did he dare say to the Hollywood legend? Korkmaz challenged Crowe to a game of 1-on-1 on his next visit. No big deal.

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‘Limit for This Team is the Sky’

Korkmaz didn’t sugarcoat anything at the end of last season. He thought the Sixers were good enough to win a championship, but the fact of the matter is they failed to do it. He was quick to turn the page.

“There’s a lot to think about in the summertime,” Korkmaz said at exit interviews. “We couldn’t reach our goals this year. We couldn’t win a championship. I think as a team, we have a long way to go. We have a lot of talent, we have a lot of potential. The limit for this team is the sky.”

Those words came before a busy offseason that saw the Sixers add P.J. Tucker, De’Anthony Melton, Danuel House, and Trevelin Queen. They also locked up James Harden to a two-year contract extension.

Korkmaz Mentioned in Possible Trades

Korkmaz has been mentioned in multiple trade rumors dating back to last year’s deadline. He was thought to be on the block prior to the 2022 draft as the Sixers were looking to create extra cap space. Ultimately, the team kept Korkmaz while sending Danny Green and the rights to the No. 23 pick to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Melton.

But trade rumors around Korkmaz persisted, especially around a trade package for Kevin Durant. Those talks never went anywhere and Durant is staying put anyway. For now. Korkmaz has two years left on the $15 million deal he inked with Philadelphia prior to the 2021-22 campaign. If he struggles, don’t be surprised if the Sixers try to move him.

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