Sixers: It’s time to say goodbye to these 2 rotation players

Sixers bench (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Sixers bench (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The offseason is vastly approaching, and with a lot of attention on Ben Simmons — will he or won’t he get traded, and for how much? The Sixers need to also focus and look towards improving upon another major concern this team has: the bench unit. In particular, the lack of reliable role players.

The Sixers’ bench ranked 13th in points scored at 37.3 points per game. That said, they were one of the worst 3-point shooting benches in the league, ranking 23rd in bench shooting, making only 3.9 triples per game on 11.8 attempts with a  33.4 percent success rate. This team needs to improve its bench along with its 3-point shooting, and that means saying goodbye to some players.

Two players in particular come to my mind, and that’s Furkan Korkmaz and Mike Scott.

The Sixers should say goodbye Furkan Korkmaz in free agency

Many of you may be wondering why Korkmaz has to go? This is a tough one for the Sixers because he has shown flashes of being a good rotational piece on a championship team. This season, Korkmaz showed a willingness to play defense and, despite not being the best ball handler, put effort in trying to shoot off the dribble or attacking the basket.

Korkmaz wasn’t a major disappointment this season, but his numbers did take a dip. During his breakout 2019-20 season, he was averaged 9.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game on 43/40/75 shooting splits. During the 2020-21 season, his stat-line was 9.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game on 40.1/37.5/73.2 shooting splits.

It’s his consistency and reliability that hamper Korkmaz and become worrisome for a team that is pushing to win a championship. During the second round of the playoffs, in the four games after Danny Green went down with a calf injury, Korkmaz averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds as a starter, shooting 35.5 percent from the floor and an abysmal 25 percent from the 3-point line.

Part of his appeal is that he could be a capable standstill shooter and do some playmaking with the ball in hands. The Sixers may not feel the need to sign him back with Tyrese Maxey coming into his own. Even Shake Milton, who is on a team-friendly deal, has shown the ability to create his own shot and has enhanced his shooting from beyond the arc.

All in all, I believe the time is up for Korkmaz and would be surprised if he was brought back onto this team next year.

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Mike Scott’s time with the Sixers has reached its end

It’s not much of a shocker where we should all stand when it comes to Mike Scott and his future with the Sixers. As the 11th man and another veteran on the team, he helped mentor the young players on and off the court while also becoming a fan favorite around the city of Philadelphia. The famed “Mike Scott Hive,” which became a thing in 2020, will be missed, but it’s time to move on.

Having played in 51 games and earning himself 12 starts in the absence of Embiid, Scott essentially played himself out of the Sixers’ rotation due to his inability to hit open 3-pointers and be a solid contributor on the defensive side of the floor. In his 16.7 minutes per game, Scott averaged 4.2 points, the second lowest scoring season of his career. He only made one 3-pointer per game.

The 6-foot-8 big man struggled at being the starting center when called upon, and struggled to find chemistry when on the court with Tobias Harris, essentially making him unplayable in the second round of the playoffs despite the Sixers’ need for a second-unit power forward. Having failed to live up to the two-year, $9.8 million deal he signed back in 2019, I expect the Sixers will go out and look to sign Scott’s replacement or even look inwards and potentially give Paul Reed a real shot.

In the end, when the free agency opens up, the Sixers will have a decision to make regarding both of these players and their future with the franchise. As things stand I don’t expect to see both of these players returning to the Philadelphia 76ers this upcoming season.

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