The Philadelphia 76ers are in the thick of the title hunt right now. There’s no offensive duo more potent than Joel Embiid and James Harden, no defensive core with more untapped potential. If the pieces fall into place, we could be watching a parade down Broad Street in a few months.
If we look ahead, however, the future is murky. The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves with severely restricted cap space and a slew of important free agents. Joel Embiid is locked up long term and Tyrese Maxey is the future, but what does next season hold? We can’t really say right now.
Uncertainty is never a comfortable sensation, especially when there’s such an urgency for the team to compete. Embiid’s prime won’t last forever and it took a lot of work (and a lot of risk) to build the current team around him.
Who might not be back next season for the Philadelphia 76ers?
5. Furkan Korkmaz
The Turkish delight has a guaranteed $5.3 million on his contract next season, but is there any incentive for Philadelphia to keep him around? Korkmaz made a trade request in February, the second trade request of his Sixers career. He’s not playing and he clearly does not want to ride the bench here.
Given the nature of his contract, teams probably weren’t breaking down the door to nab Korkmaz at the trade deadline. But, $5.3 million in expiring money is much easier to deal. The Sixers should have little trouble using Korkmaz as salary filler in summer trade negotiations.
Despite what feels like a forever-long stint with Philly, Korkmaz is only 25 years old with multiple productive campaigns under his belt. Players with size and shooting tend to retain relevancy in today’s NBA and Korkmaz’s flashes of secondary playmaking should only increase his appeal for rebuilding teams willing to take an inexpensive flier.
He’s probably out of Philadelphia’s short and long-term plans, but don’t be surprised if Korkmaz is traded and subsequently finds some measure of success with his new team.
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