Sixers president: Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will not play in summer leagues

Folks looking to see Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid play in the summer leagues need to turn their attention to Furkan Korkmaz.

"They are not playing in summer league," team president Bryan Colangelo said of Embiid and Simmons.

However, Colangelo did say that the team wants Korkmaz, a 2016 draft pick stashed overseas, to play in the summer leagues. The Sixers will play in the Utah Summer League from July 3 to 6 and the NBA Summer League, which runs July 7 to 17 in Las Vegas.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Embiid and Simmons are sitting out the summer leagues. The Sixers actually said Embiid wouldn't play months ago. At that time, the assumption was that Simmons would also bypass summer play against 2017 draft picks, selected veterans and free agents.

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Did the Sixers make the right move in deciding not to allow Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to play in the summer leagues?

For Korkmaz, this could be an opportunity to get an advance look at the Sixers system. The team could also use the time to evaluate him in game situations while he spends time with the Sixers this summer.

The 6-foot-8, 190-pound Turkish shooting guard will arrive in the Philadelphia area in the coming days - if not Tuesday - to work out and meet coaches and staff members. The team picked him 26th overall in 2016. Korkmaz is still under contract with Turkish Basketball Super League team, Anadolu Efes.

He couldn't afford the $2 million buyout, needed to release from the contract he signed last summer. Korkmaz wants to join the team next season. However, he still may have a tough time paying the fee.

NBA teams are allowed to pay only up to $650,000 toward a buyout. League rules dictate that players must pay any remaining balance. Korkmaz was slotted to make at least $1.02 million in 2016-17 if he had signed with the Sixers. He can reportedly pay off his buyout in installments.

"I think all of that is still subject to discussion, negotiation, whatever you want to call it," Colangelo said of Korkmaz, who has two years remaining on his Efes deal.

But the Sixers think Korkmaz's idea to come over this summer is a great one.

"We want to instill as many ideas and things that are going to help him develop whether he comes or not at this early stage of his development," Colangelo said of the 19-year-old. "So, getting with our strength-and-conditioning staff, performance staff and talking about ways to get better, bigger and stronger."

Korkmaz is athletic, agile and good three-point shooter. However, at 6-foot-8 and 190 pounds, he desperately needs to gain weight and get stronger to play in the NBA.

"I think even just seeing him here working out with some of our guys will give him a better feel for where he is," Colangelo said, "and give us a better feel for just how he rates right now with respect to the components of his game."

In regards to Simmons and Embiid, Colangelo said they are doing well health wise. He said they are on pace for a healthy return this season.

Simmons was sidelined this season after suffering a fractured right foot on Sept. 30. Embiid played in only 31 games because of rest and/or injuries. He had season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on March 24.

kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/Sixersblog

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