Furkan Korkmaz knows work must be done after summer league with Sixers

Furkan Korkmaz knows work must be done after summer league with Sixers

LAS VEGAS — Furkan Korkmaz is leaving Las Vegas with a better picture of what he needs to work on before beginning his rookie season with the Sixers this fall.

Korkmaz will go straight from summer league to Turkey's under-20 competition in Greece on Saturday (see story). From there, he will play for the Turkish national team in EuroBasket. Korkmaz is taking with him nearly two weeks of experience on the NBA stage, his first taste of his new league.

“I am trying to keep me in shape,” Korkmaz said of his upcoming international games. “I know I have to be better and better. I have to work on some of my dribbles … there’s no time to just rest.”

Korkmaz scored a team-high 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds in Friday’s 99-82 consolation loss to the Bulls (see Instant Replay). He shot 4 for 9 from long range and alternated his game to attack the rim (see highlights).

“You cannot make all the shots in the same game,” he said. “Sometimes you’re not in shape and then you have to find some other solutions to score, get teammates into the game. I think that’s the key.”

Korkmaz struggled at times during summer league action. He shot 16.7 percent from the field in two games in Salt Lake City. He got settled into a rhythm in the second of five games in Las Vegas. 

“As the whole thing’s gone on, he’s gotten far more comfortable, far more aggressive,” Sixers video coordinator Connor Johnson, who filled in as head coach on Friday, said.  

Korkmaz worked closely with the Sixers’ strength and conditioning staff to improve his physical development. At 6-foot-7, 192 pounds, he will have to put on muscle to hold his own against NBA-level opponents. 

“I have to improve my body,” Korkmaz said. “My body’s not enough for the NBA. But that’s why I’m coming here to get the experience.” 

Korkmaz, 19, paid a hefty buyout to play for the Sixers next season. He has a long way to go and could spend time in the G-League, but set the foundation playing in summer league. 

“I think he’s young and had a lot of good experience here, but that maturity will really help,” Johnson said. “I think the same thing about being aggressive in different offensive situations. I think he got better as time went on.”

Summer League: Sixers finish off summer league play with loss to Bulls

Summer League: Sixers finish off summer league play with loss to Bulls

LAS VEGAS — The Sixers’ defense was unable to stop the Bulls in a 99-82 loss in the consolation round of the Las Vegas Summer League on Friday.

The Bulls shot 53.4 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from three (17 for 38). They led by as many as 20 points. Their effort overpowered Furkan Korkmaz’s 22-point, eight-rebound performance. 

Larry Drew II, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Alex Poythress did not play, a decision by the coaching staff to give others more minutes. Markelle Fultz remained out because of a sprained left ankle. 

The Sixers finished summer league play in Vegas with a 1-4 mark. 

Inside the box score
• Brady Heslip led all players with 28 points (8 for 15 from three).

• Last year’s 14th overall pick, Denzel Valentine, scored 21 points with six assists.

• Melo Trimble scored 16 points (7 for 9 from the field) in just 21 minutes off the Sixers’ bench.

• Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono posted 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals. 

• The Sixers outrebounded the Bulls, 44-32. 

Coaching change
Video coordinator Connor Johnson coached the finale in place of assistant coach Lloyd Pierce. The Sixers switch up their coach for the last game of summer league each year. Pierce stayed involved in the game. During a timeout, he pulled Fultz aside and looked to be going over a play. 

Up next
The Sixers will return to Philadelphia after two weeks of summer league action between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Korkmaz will travel to Greece on Saturday to join the Turkish under-20 team (see story).

Furkan Korkmaz, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to play for national teams

Furkan Korkmaz, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to play for national teams

LAS VEGAS — Summer basketball is just beginning for Furkan Korkmaz and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

The Sixers will wrap up Las Vegas summer league play on Friday night with a consolation round game against the Bulls. On Saturday, Korkmaz will fly for 11 hours to Germany and then Greece, where he will compete for Turkey’s under-20 team. He also will play in FIBA EuroBasket 2017 on the Turkish senior national team, which runs late August through mid-September.

It’s all part of the whirlwind of travel since signing with the Sixers and flying from Turkey to Utah to Las Vegas in the past two weeks.

“I think it’s going to help me a lot,” Korkmaz said. “This is all experience to play, to see the challenge.”

Luwawu-Cabarrot will spend a few days in Philadelphia before returning home to France to compete for his national team in EuroBasket as well.

“That’s your country,” Luwawu-Cabarrot said. “You have to play for it. You want to play for it just to make your family proud, yourself, and to represent the country.”

Luwawu-Cabarrot, along with Larry Drew II and Alex Poythress, will not play in the Sixers’ summer league finale. The team is looking to get other players more minutes. Korkmaz, Isaiah Briscoe, James Blackmon Jr., Jonah Bolden and Charles Jackson will start.