The 76ers had a lot going on Friday.
Markelle Fultz, the team’s first-overall pick, was adjusting to the team’s system.
And the Sixers were working on the details of Furkan Korkmaz’s buyout agreement with Turkish team Anadolu Efes and his FIBA clearance. All signs point to him playing for the Sixers this season. And at 5 p.m. on Friday, the team announced it had waived shooting guard Gerald Henderson. There were international reports earlier on Friday that said Korkmaz would play for the Sixers this season. His agent even tweeted that “Sixers fans now have more reason to drink Turkish beer.”
The Sixers are saying only that “it very well might happen.”
Korkmaz’s buyout is $2 million, and the team can pay up to $675,000. NBA rules dictate that players must pay any remaining balance. Korkmaz, who signed his Turkish release forms, was slotted to make $1.2 million in 2016-17 if he had signed with the Sixers.
The Sixers drafted the 6-foot-8, 192-pound Korkmaz with the 26th pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He was still under contract with Efes.
“I want to be an NBA player. … It’s my dream,” Korkmaz said at a workout with the Sixers earlier this month. “When I was a kid, I started thinking about the NBA. I watched a lot of NBA games. So it’s fun to be here. It’s a really good thing to be here because this is your dream, and you work to reach your dreams.”
A standout three-point shooter, Korkmaz could be the much-needed marksman the Sixers need to reach their dreams of contention in a few seasons.
His shooting ability will help to free up players such as Fultz, who is focused on learning the Sixers’ system. The first overall pick of the June 22 NBA draft is already putting in extra film study.
“I talked to Coach today about coming in and watching film before the next practice,” Fultz said after the first of two practices Friday with the Sixers’ summer-league team. “I’m going to come and try to learn as much as I can so I can be as best prepared as I want to be, to be the best player I can possibly be.”
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard is focused on learning the Sixers’ plays and becoming more comfortable in their system. Friday morning marked the midway point of the team’s three-day training camp. The team is working out twice a day during the camp. The Sixers will travel to Salt Lake City on Sunday to compete in the Utah Jazz Summer League on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Then they will head for Las Vegas to participate in the NBA Summer League that will run from Friday through July 17.
Fultz will gauge his success by not repeating the mistakes he made the night before, he said. He wants to learn the plays and get better.
“As long as I put my best foot forward, I’m happy with myself,” Fultz said. “My biggest thing is trying to learn. I’m asking the coaches questions.”
He’s learning that the biggest challenge in the NBA learning curve is the short amount of time to learn multiple plays.
“Here you get a lot of plays quickly,” Fultz said. “You just got to adjust and learn them as well as you can. They understand that it’s quick. But that’s the only big difference, really. There’s a lot of plays, a lot of motions out of those plays. You just got to play at the end of the day. You just have to play through them and try your best to learn them.”
Fultz won’t get an opportunity to learn from Henderson. The deadline to pick up his $9 million contract for next season was Friday. As a result, the team will have to pay him only $1 million in guaranteed money.
Henderson played one season with his hometown team after signing a free-agent deal last July 9. The eighth-year veteran provided veteran leadership last season. However, he was limited because of an arthritic left hip. He averaged 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 72 games. He started 41 of those games before the Sixers eventually opted for rookie Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot toward the end of the season. Henderson was at a McDonald’s all-American at Episcopal Academy as a high school player.