The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t officially begun training camp for the 2017-2018 season, but that doesn’t mean guys aren’t putting in work over what’s left of the summer.
A pair of Sixers players overseas are making waves early in the 2017 FIBA EuroBasket Tournament. Croatia, so far, is 3-1 in the group stages of the tournament, and Dario Šarić has been one of the sizable reasons. The 6’10” Sixers power forward has averaged about 34 minutes per game (leads the team) and has accumulated these numbers:
14.5 PPG (2nd on the team)
6.8 RPG (1st on the team)
+10.3 plus/minus (1st on the team)
Šarić has two double-doubles in the four group stage games (11 points, 10 rebounds vs. Romania and 18 points, 13 rebounds yesterday against Spain). There was chatter before the tournament about how this tournament could be a launch point for Šarić that carries into the 2017-2018 season, and that seems to be the case. It’s easy to look a certain way in International Basketball vs. the NBA, but one thing that has looked impressive is Šarić’s seemingly better play defensively.
Šarić had two impressive blocks against Spain, yesterday, but his passing ability (which hasn’t been questioned) has been on display prominently.
Are you kidding me with that pass, Dario? There are maybe ten guys in the league that have the vision and the ability to make that pass. (Ok, maybe there’s 20.) We’ve seen this story before in other tournament years. New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis was a member of the 2014 USA team that won the FIBA World Tournament. The following year, Davis had a career year: 24.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 54% FG, 14.0 WS, .278 WS/48. Will Šarić have a similar uptick? The increase will be noticeable, but it won’t be like Davis’s increase.
Make no mistake. Šarić will be good this year for the 2017-2018 Sixers — very good.
One more Sixers prospect playing overseas is Turkish guard Furkan Korkmaz. The Sixers drafted Korkmaz with the 26th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The book on Korkmaz was simple: very capable shooter, but his frame needed work. Korkmaz played in the Summer League with the Sixers, and had some flashes. He still seemed a little unpolished — which is natural. Korkmaz is showing off in the FIBA EuroBasket Tournament, though.
Korkmaz led Turkey to a 78-65 win against Belgium scoring 14 points. In four games, the 6’7″ guard has 10.8 ppg shooting 4/9 on three pointers, and one pretty darn good pump fake:
Korkmaz has looked much more comfortable in this tournament than he did at Summer League. It may not matter too much because my gut tells me he starts the season playing for the Delaware 87ers, anyway, but Korkmaz is looking much more confident in his abilities. That’s a good thing.
Both Croatia and Turkey advanced into the Round of 16, so both players will be on display a little bit longer. Enjoy. They’ll be with the Sixers, again, soon.
Trust the Process.