Furkan Korkmaz

And-Ones: Referees, Harrison, Bitadze, Korkmaz, Hoard

There won’t be any labor strife regarding NBA officials for several years. The NBA and the National Basketball Referees Association announced that they have entered into a new collective bargaining agreement that covers the next seven seasons.

That CBA runs through the 2028/29 season. The contract addressed salary, travel, pension and marketing issue rights and was ratified by the overwhelming majority of the NBA referees, the NBRA announced (hat tip to Andrew Lopez of ESPN).

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Aaron Harrison has signed in Slovenia with KK Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Harrison played 38 games with the Hornets and Mavericks from 2015-18. He played in Turkey last season.
  • FIBA officially announced that disciplinary proceedings have been opened for the alleged attack on Sixers wing and Turkish national team member Furkan Korkmaz by Georgia players, including the Pacers’ Goga Bitadze, after Korkmaz was ejected from a EuroBasket contest, Eurohoops.net relays. Both sides agree that an incident happened and FIBA clarifies that they have the security camera footage from that day. What remains unclear is what kind of sanctions can be imposed, Eurohoops adds, as FIBA uses the wording “applicable disciplinary measures.”
  • Hapoel Tel Aviv has elected to retain Jaylen Hoard for the rest of he 2022/23 season, the team announced. Hoard joined the club on a partially guaranteed deal and now will get a full guarantee. After going undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2019, the 6’8″, French-born swingman joined the Trail Blazers on a two-way deal for the 2019/20 season. He then spent the subsequent two NBA seasons bouncing between the Thunder and their NBAGL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.

Eastern Notes: Antetokounmpo, Knicks, Mitchell, Bitadze, Korkmaz

Minor knee pain was enough for Greece’s national team to hold out Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo from its EuroBasket contest on Monday, Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN writes. He wasn’t needed, as Greece posted a 93-77 victory over Great Britain.

“He had discomfort in his knee but nothing major,” Greece head coach Dimitris Itoudis said.

Greece will enter the knockout phase of the tournament this weekend, though Antetokounmpo might return to action Tuesday against Ukraine.

We have more Eastern Conference info:

  • The Knicks made a series of mistakes and botched negotiations with the Jazz regarding a potential Donovan Mitchell trade, Alan Hahn opines in a Substack post. They potentially alienated some young players and essentially sent a message to RJ Barrett that he’s not destined for stardom despite giving him an extension. They also overestimated the value of protected draft picks and the package they offered for Mitchell before Utah completed a deal with the Cavaliers. It now calls into question the franchise’s overall strategy, Hahn adds.
  • Sixers wing and Turkish national team member Furkan Korkmaz was allegedly attacked by Georgia players after he was ejected from a EuroBasket contest. One of those alleged attackers was Pacers’ big man Goga Bitadze, sportscaster Ismal Senol tweets. Even if that’s true, there’s no precedent for the NBA to dole out punishment to a player for his actions in FIBA games, John Hollinger of The Athletic tweetsNenad Krstic, Thon Maker and Nicolas Batum were not disciplined by the NBA for past incidents that occurred in FIBA tournaments, Hollinger notes.
  • In case you missed it, the Celtics are expected to apply for a disabled player exception due to Danilo Gallinari‘s knee injury. Get the info here.

International Notes: Doncic, Georgia, Turkey, Korkmaz, Lithuania Protest

The EuroBasket schedule could increase the potential for injuries, Mavericks franchise player Luka Doncic told Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops.net. “We’re going to play four games in five days,” Doncic said. “(Sunday), basically we had two games in 24 hours. Yes this should change for everybody. Everybody is doing the same. Everybody has less rest. It’s a problem because of injuries you know. More injuries can happen. Especially the (NBA) clubs wouldn’t be very glad.”

We have more international news:

  • FIBA has issued a statement (hat tip to Eurohoops.net) regarding the altercation between Georgia and Turkey players and delegation members, saying an investigation is underway. Both sides have made allegations and “the competent FIBA bodies will decide on any applicable disciplinary measures.” The Turkish delegation’s protest of the game due to a timekeeper error was dismissed. While the timing error was acknowledged, FIBA determined it didn’t affect the outcome.
  • Regarding those allegations, Sixers wing and Turkey’s Furkan Korkmaz stated that he was attacked by five people. Coach Ergin Ataman asked for extra security measures, while Turkish Basketball Federation vice president Omer Onan asked for sanctions toward Georgia, according to Eurohoops.net. Georgia’s basketball federation countered that there were “provocations” from the Turkish team.
  • FIBA also dismissed a protest by Lithuania in its loss to Germany, Eurohoops.net tweets. Lithuania claimed it wasn’t given a free throw after a technical foul was assessed to Team Germany in the third quarter. The protest was dismissed because it was not delivered within an hour after the game and “the reason presented” was not something that could be protested anyway.

And-Ones: Korkmaz, Turkey, Popovich, France, Team USA

Sixers guard Furkan Korkmaz was attacked in the hallway of the locker room after being ejected in Turkey’s game against Georgia, the Turkish team alleged (link via Semih Tuna of EuroHoops). The Turkish federation vice president, Omer Onan, is now threatening that the team will leave the EuroBasket if proper action isn’t taken.

“While Furkan Korkmaz was walking in the hallway to the locker rooms with our trainer, Georgia’s players who were not in the active roster attacked him together with the ejected player [Duda Sanadze] and the police,” Onan explained in a lengthy statement. “There should not be an attack on the player that goes to the locker room. At the end of the match, 30 policemen each pushed us into a fight. We got into a fight with Georgia’s official police. I am calling out to FIBA and I have also told FIBA’s officials.

“Let no one deceive themselves or think that we are stupid. They will bring us all the camera footage from that corridor minute by minute without anything missing. If those cameras do not come to us, we will leave this tournament. Wherever you look it, there is nothing to hold onto. The non-competing player, (Toko) Shengelia, and three people sitting on the bench went to the locker room. At the end of the match, the police were in front of our locker room. Supposedly they were protecting us but they pushed us all the time. We were going to hit each other with our fists.”

It’s unclear what injuries — if any — Korkmaz sustained. The 25-year-old was drafted by Philadelphia with the No. 26 pick in 2016. He’s spent his entire career with the franchise so far, averaging 7.6 points in 67 games this past season.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich believes the NBA and European basketball are becoming more similar, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes. While the quote has been condensed, Popovich did shine light on the matter. “Ten years ago, American basketball was mainly made up of threes and dunks, and with the arrival of basketball on European TV, I think everyone was very excited by this,” he said. “In Europe, on the contrary, basketball was played based on fundamentals, movement, a basketball where players move with the ball and without the ball. I think the two worlds have been apart for a while, but now we are getting closer.”
  • France managed to survive Hungary’s comeback and win on Sunday, as relayed by EuroHoops. The team was led by Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, plus played his usual stellar defense.
  • Team USA’s game against Venezuela on Sunday was postponed after rain leaked into the gym, according to The Associated Press. America was leading 48-21 at halftime when heavy rain caused multiple leaks and ended the contest early. The game was played in Brazil.

More Than 30 NBA Players On Track To Suit Up For EuroBasket

The first EuroBasket tournament in five years will tip off in two weeks and there are currently 34 NBA players on track to participate in the event, representing 17 different countries, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops.net.

EuroBasket is a 24-team international basketball competition also known as the European Basketball Championship. It historically took place every two years, but that gap was recently adjusted to four years, emulating the FIBA World Cup schedule.

The last EuroBasket tournament was played in 2017 — the next one had been scheduled for 2021, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. As a result, after being played every two years since 1947, it has now been five years since the last EuroBasket tournament, easily the longest layoff since World War II.

It’s possible that some NBA players will be cut from their teams’ rosters or will have to drop out due to injuries or personal reasons before the event begins on September 1, but in general enthusiasm to participate in the long-awaited event appears high.

Here’s the list of NBAers currently set to play in EuroBasket, per Eurohoops:

There are also multiple NBA free agents on EuroBasket rosters, including French swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and German guard Dennis Schröder.

A number of young NBA players, such as 2022 draftees Jeremy Sochan and Nikola Jovic, have dropped out to focus on getting ready for the 2022/23 season, while others, including Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) and Frank Ntilikina (France), were ruled out due to injuries.

Round robin play will begin on September 1, with each team facing the other five clubs in its group once. The top four teams in each group will advance to a 16-team bracket that begins on September 10. The final will take place on September 18, just over a week before NBA training camps get underway.

Atlantic Rumors: Tucker, Sixers, Knicks, Robinson, Nets

With free agency still two days away, rumors about P.J. Tucker landing in Philadelphia continue to percolate. After Marc Stein reported earlier in the week that multiple executives believe the Sixers will sign Tucker to a three-year, $30MM contract, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer conveys a similar sentiment today.

According to Pompey, three sources believe Tucker to the 76ers is a “done deal,” while a fourth source said he’d be shocked if the veteran forward doesn’t end up in Philadelphia. Sources tell Pompey that Tucker’s three-year deal with the Sixers, assuming it materializes, could be worth $27MM with incentives that increase the value to $30MM.

The Sixers still need to do some cap work in order to realistically make that kind of offer to Tucker. If James Harden turns down his $47MM+ player option and agrees to a lesser first-year salary on a new contract, the team could create the cap flexibility necessary to use its full mid-level exception on Tucker. But Harden is expected to opt in and then sign an extension, which means Philadelphia would have to shed some salary. Furkan Korkmaz ($5MM), Matisse Thybulle ($4.4MM), and Georges Niang ($3.5MM) are among the club’s potential trade candidates.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Knicks are considering converting Jericho Sims‘ two-way contract into a standard NBA deal, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. If that occurs, second-round pick Trevor Keels would likely receive a two-way pact. Both moves were considered likely as of Tuesday afternoon, Begley writes.
  • Within the same story, Begley says he expects the Knicks to give strong consideration to re-signing Taj Gibson if they waive him this week as part of their cap-clearing efforts.
  • The four-year, $48MM contract Robert Williams signed with Boston last fall is viewed by rival executives as a fair comparable for Mitchell Robinson, according to Steve Popper of Newsday, who suggests the Knicks likely wouldn’t want to go much higher than that to retain Robinson this summer.
  • The Nets are expected to give David Duke a prominent role in summer league games next month and will give him an opportunity to compete for a roster spot in 2022/23, sources tell Chris Milholen of NetsDaily. Duke received a two-way qualifying offer from Brooklyn, as we relayed earlier today.

Sixers Gauging Trade Interest In Harris, Thybulle, Others

The Sixers are exploring the trade market to gauge rival teams’ interest in forwards Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, as well as guards Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton, multiple sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pompey also previously confirmed that the 76ers are considering potential trade scenarios involving the No. 23 pick and Danny Green‘s expiring contract.

As Pompey writes, Philadelphia is committed to keeping Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, and there’s an expectation James Harden will be back as well. However, the front office realizes the rest of the roster isn’t championship-caliber and is weighing possible ways to upgrade it.

As we noted on Tuesday when we previewed the Sixers’ offseason, Harris’ contract – which will pay him $37.6MM in 2022/23 – would be the team’s most logical trade chip in any major deal involving multiple veteran players. However, Harris was the third or fourth option for the Sixers and his exorbitant cap hit will likely make potential trade partners view him as a negative – or, at best, neutral – asset.

Most of the other possible trade candidates mentioned by Pompey aren’t earning significantly more than the minimum, so their salary-matching value would be limited. Korkmaz will make $5MM next season, while Thybulle is on the books for $4.4MM.

The 76ers hold a $2MM team option on Milton for ’22/23, and Pompey suggests there’s a belief around the NBA that the Sixers won’t pick it up. However, it would need to be exercised in order to make Milton trade-eligible — if it’s declined, he’d become an unrestricted free agent. I’d be surprised if that option isn’t exercised, but the fact that there’s even a question about whether or not that will happen means Milton probably isn’t a very valuable trade asset.

Korkmaz, Thybulle, and Milton were all part of Philadelphia’s regular rotation this past season, but all come with some red flags. Kokmaz made a career-worst 28.9% of his three-pointers, Thybulle failed to take a step forward as an offensive player, and Milton also saw his three-point rate dip (to 32.3%).

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Sixers, Knicks, Durant, Simmons

Five-time Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid admitted that he considered quitting basketball entirely during his rookie year, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid was drafted by the Sixers in 2014 with the third pick out of Kansas, but didn’t suit up for Philadelphia until the 2016/17 season. Surgeries for a navicular bone in his right foot delayed Embiid’s NBA debut for two years while he grieved the death of a family member off the court.

“You look back at my first year after the surgery,” Embiid said. “Obviously, I lost my brother at that time, too. Going back to Cameroon, I really wanted to stop playing basketball and really retire because at that point you just had surgery, and everybody is talking about ‘You’re not going to make it’ or ‘You’re never going to play in the league,’ and, obviously, the loss of my brother was big. I wanted to give up. I almost did. It was hard.”

The 28-year-old has since become one of the most dominant centers in the NBA, and is currently building a convincing MVP case with a terrific and mostly healthy season thus far. He is averaging 29.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 4.5 APG through 46 games this season. Embiid boasts shooting splits of .495/.369/.813.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • While the identities of four Sixers starters are fairly clear heading into the home stretch of the 2021/22 NBA season, the team has several options for the fifth starting role, per Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice. With James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and Embiid entrenched in the club’s starting lineup. Neubeck considers whether they’d be best complemented by the defensive attributes of Matisse Thybulle, the corner three-point shooting of Danny Green or Furkan Korkmaz, or the size advantage of Georges Niang.
  • With a 25-34 record, the Knicks face an uphill battle to even make the play-in tournament this season. Fred Katz of The Athletic wonders at what point second-year New York head coach Tom Thibodeau, whose job may be in jeopardy this summer, may opt to prioritize developing the team’s youth over less-than-meaningful victories. Katz also theorizes about the potential markets awaiting 2022 unrestricted free agent center Mitchell Robinson, and forward Cam Reddish, whom the Knicks could either opt to extend this summer or allow to reach restricted free agency next year.
  • Nets team president Sean Marks expects stars Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons to join the team on the hardwood fairly soon, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post“Depending when they go, we’ve got to see how they respond to days like [Tuesday], and we’ll go forward with this,” Marks said. “It’s probably going to be tough, to be honest, to be playing in the next three or four days. But we’ll see how it all plays out.”

Pacers Rumors: Brogdon, Hield, Warren, Craig, Turner, Korkmaz

There are rival executives around the NBA who believe the Pacers will trade Malcolm Brogdon this offseason following their acquisition of Tyrese Haliburton, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Brogdon isn’t eligible to be traded this season due to the contract extension he signed in the fall, but could be moved in the summer

The Pacers shouldn’t feel any urgency to deal Brogdon, since he and Haliburton are both solid ball-handlers, defenders, and shooters who could complement one another in the backcourt. But the presence of Haliburton certainly will give Indiana more options if the team wants to try to use Brogdon in a trade to address another area of the roster.

According to Scotto, the Pacers are also open to flipping newly-acquired shooting guard Buddy Hield prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. Hield’s $23MM cap hit and the $40MM he’s owed for the two seasons after this one will probably make it tricky for the club to get much of value for him, especially since he has had a down year — his .368 3PT% is the worst mark of his career.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • Veteran forwards T.J. Warren and Torrey Craig are among the other players the Pacers have made available in advance of Thursday’s trade deadline, league sources tell Scotto. Warren, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, hasn’t played since December 2020 due to a foot injury, so teams may be reluctant to take a flier on him.
  • Myles Turner is expected to remain with the Pacers beyond the deadline, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking tells Chris Mannix of SI.com. Mannix and Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com have both heard that the Pistons and Pacers discussed a swap centered around Turner and Jerami Grant, but Bulpett says Indiana rejected it. According to Bulpett, the Bucks have also shown some interest in Turner to fill the Brook Lopez role on their roster, with Lopez’s availability for the rest of the season up in the air.
  • The Pacers have some interest in Sixers wing Furkan Korkmaz, believing that he could benefit from a change of scenery, sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. A career 37.7% three-point shooter entering this season, Korkmaz has made just 28.7% of his attempts from beyond the arc in 2021/22.

Atlantic Notes: Noel, Korkmaz, Harris, Achiuwa

Knicks center Nerlens Noel made his season debut on Wednesday and drew some praise from his coach, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Noel had been sidelined by knee and hamstring soreness. He had two points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. “For the first game I thought he gave us some really good minutes,” Tom Thibodeau said. “Good activity. Rim protection. Effort plays. A lot of good things.” Noel re-signed with New York this summer on a three-year, $32MM contract.

We have more on the Atlantic Division:

  • Furkan Korkmaz has changed agents, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. The Sixers wing will now by represented by Jason Glushon and Dan Tobin. Korkmaz re-signed with the team on a three-year, $15MM contract this summer.
  • Sixers forward Tobias Harris was placed under the league’s health and safety protocols on Wednesday and he’s experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “He’s doing OK, but not great, honestly,” coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s the most I’m gonna say about it. But it hit him, for sure. A lot of guys have had this and they are mad like, ‘What the hell? I’m fine.’ Tobias is not in that category right now.”
  • Raptors coach Nick Nurse said that Precious Achiuwa earned the starting nod at center and doesn’t plan on making a change despite inconsistent play, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets.  “We don’t expect (the young guys) to play great every night,” Nurse said. “It doesn’t mean we’ve got to change the starting lineup. I think we just stick with it and see how it goes.” Achiuwa has gone 5-for-27 from the field in his last three games.