With training camp getting closer, there are plenty of topics to discuss involving the 2019-20 Sixers. Running the Give and Go are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Paul Hudrick and Noah Levick.
In this edition, we ask: Which Sixer has the most to lose this season?
Before the Sixers missed out on signing veteran sharpshooter Kyle Korver, there were rumors that 2016 first-round pick Furkan Korkmaz was headed back to Turkey. It would’ve made sense. The Sixers didn’t pick up his option for 2019-20 and he reportedly complained about his playing time last season.
Then Korver chose the Milwaukee Bucks over his former team and Elton Brand brought back the 22-year-old Turkish guard on a one-year deal. The fact that this could be Korkmaz’s last shot to stick in the NBA means he has the most to lose of any Sixer this season.
Korkmaz was touted as an excellent shooter during the pre-draft process. That skill has yet to translate to the NBA as Korkmaz has shot just 32.3 percent on 161 career three-point attempts. He’s shown offensive skill and instincts at times, but his shot selection is questionable. He’s a decent athlete, but has been a below-average defender.
He’ll be in a serious fight to become a part of the rotation this season. James Ennis will likely be the first wing off the bench, but there should be minutes for another perimeter player available. Korkmaz will have to battle 2019 first-round pick Matisse Thybulle and 2018 first-rounder Zhaire Smith. If Korkmaz's shot doesn’t fall, Thybulle and Smith both bring way more on the defensive end.
And that could send Korkmaz back overseas for 2020-21.
There’s a lot at stake for Jonah Bolden this season.
He had an eventful rookie year, dealing with injury, stints in the G League and irregular playing time with the Sixers.
Bolden had some positive moments. The Australian big man rebounded from making just 2 of his first 17 NBA threes to hit 35.4 percent from long range, and he flashed ability as a lengthy, athletic defender. There were also a variety of issues for Bolden, including classic rookie errors like unforced turnovers and excessive fouls, and his lack of size at center.
Now, there’s not an obvious spot for Bolden in the Sixers’ rotation. Kyle O’Quinn and Al Horford will presumably be ahead of him as backups to Joel Embiid, and Mike Scott seems to be the team’s backup power forward. Perhaps Bolden’s aptitude with perimeter defense will appeal to Brett Brown in specific matchups, but you have to look hard to find a regular place for him in the rotation.
Another important factor with Bolden is his contract situation — he has nothing guaranteed beyond this season. He’d gain a lot by earning playing time as a young player on a championship contender. If he’s unimpressive in his second year or simply doesn’t get much opportunity, though, he might end up moving elsewhere.
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