Is Korkmaz just scratching the surface of being a liable top-8 NBA player following two largely meh seasons from 2017-19? Could he replace Danny Green in the starting five should the three-time NBA champ be traded in the next week, or would the Sixers be better off shipping Korkmaz to a team like the Rockets, Cavaliers, or Kings who could give him a more expansive role with unrestricted free agency hanging just over the horizon?
Because the Sixers signed Korkmaz to a two-year contract worth using the vet minimum after declining his option for the 2018-19 season, the team can only extend him at a similar number due to a lack of Bird Rights. While it’s possible Korkmaz could experience another light market and return to the team on another short-term, vet-minimum contract, all it takes is one team with cap space to mess up Daryl Morey’s plans and steal away the former first-round pick’s services on a deal worth close to the $14.8 million AAV projected by FiveThirtyEight.
So, assuming the chances of retaining Korkmaz should he close out the season on a high note are rather low, and the chances of him making Doc Rivers’ playoff rotation without finishing out the season on a high note are low too, why not see if the team can unload their former draftee in a deal that nets them a better overall player in both the short and long-term?
Because Korkmaz is only under contract for $1.76 million in 2020-21, it’s incredibly easy to wedge him into virtually any trade available over the next month without having to fret too much about the matching salary.
If the final chapter of Korkmaz’s career in Philly is as a footnote in a championship-chasing trade, that feels rather fitting, no?
Could the Philadelphia 76ers ultimately end up keeping Furkan Korkmaz heading into April? Most definitely.