Sixers’ Furkan Korkmaz: ‘I just want to play’
A league source said Monday the Sixers hadn't decided if they're going to exercise the $2.03-million third-year team option on his contract. The squad likes Korkmaz's scoring ability but is unsure about retaining him. They might try to trade him. A source said Korkmaz wants to be traded over lack of playing time.
TORONTO – Furkan Korkmaz just wants to play.
The 76ers reserve guard made that known before Tuesday night's road game against the Toronto Raptors.
"I just left my country to come here and to play here," said Korkmaz, a native of Turkey. "I just want to play. Then I feel like I'm ready to play. That's why I looking for an opportunity to play."
"This is my second year. I just need to play."
The 6-foot-7, 185-pound swingman had played in only 19 career games, including five this season, heading into the contest with the Raptors. He had averages of 1.4 points and 5.6 minutes for his career.
A league source said Monday the Sixers hadn't decided if they're going to exercise the $2.03 million third-year team option on his contract. The team likes Korkmaz's scoring ability but is unsure about retaining him. It might try to trade him. A source said Korkmaz wants to be traded over lack of playing time.
He would not confirm nor deny that on Tuesday.
"First of all, I want to see what the team is going to say to me," Korkmaz said. "I'm waiting for them to tell me, 'We are going to pick up your option' [or] 'We are not going to pick up your option.' Then I want to think about it.
"I want to play. I just want to play."
The Sixers drafted Korkmaz with the 26th pick in 2016. He remained overseas for one season to play for Turkish team Anadolu Efes. He played for the Sixers last season after getting bought out of his Efes contract.
However, he's behind rookie guard Landry Shamet on the depth chart. He's also expected to be behind reserve guard Jerryd Bayless (left knee) once he returns in a couple of weeks.
The team did not immediately respond to Korkmaz's comment.
Fultz looks to get defensive
Markelle Fultz appears more comfortable on his pull-up jumpers from around 10 feet. However, the combo guard's defense is still a work in progress. He needs to do a better job of keeping opponents in front of him.
"I'm getting better and better each game," Fultz said. "I still think I had way too many mistakes for myself [Monday against the Atlanta Hawks]. My goal is just to go out there and play as hard as I can. When I catch myself lacking a little bit, I try to push myself."
The 2017 first-overall pick realizes he needs to cut down his fouls.
He had five fouls in two of the Sixers' first seven games.
Muscala providing three-point depth
On Monday, Mike Muscala showed the potential to become a shooting threat off the bench. The post player made four of six three-pointers en route to a season-high 14 points against his former team, the Atlanta Hawks.
The Sixers acquired the 6-11, 240-pounder in a three-team, offseason trade that also included the Oklahoma City Thunder. Monday marked his fourth game after missing the first three games of the season with a sprained left ankle.
"I feel confident out there," Muscala said. "The way that Ben [Simmons] passes the ball, the attention that Joel [Embiid] commands and [Markelle Fultz's] passing ability and pushing and transition, there's a lot of open shots to be had."
The 27-year-old was averaging 7.3 points and shooting 40 percent on three-pointers heading into Tuesday's game.