Carmelo Anthony glad Joel Embiid is 'trusting the process'

Carmelo Anthony glad Joel Embiid is 'trusting the process'

Carmelo Anthony is a Joel Embiid fan.

"I'm glad to see him back out there playing. It's been a while," Anthony said at the Knicks' shootaround Wednesday morning before their game against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center. "There's been so much speculation about him."

Finally, the speculation about Embiid's health has been replaced by how far he can take this team. Especially once Ben Simmons returns.

"To see him out there, to see him healthy — what's the saying, trust the process? To see him trusting the process and the Philadelphia organization and the fans as a whole," the 32-year-old Anthony said, "for me as a fan, it's good to see him back out there. We need young guys like that as a part of this league."

Losers of eight of their last nine (see game notes), Anthony and the slumping Knicks are 17-21 and in third place in the Atlantic Division, one spot ahead of the 10-25 Sixers, who have won three of their last four. They didn't win their 10th game last season until April 5 (much more on that here).

"They're going to come in with a lot of confidence," Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said. "Embiid's a big factor in there with his size, his abilities to clog the lane defensively, and then offensively to make you do things that you have to to keep him out of the paint. He's long — he's going to finish in there.  They're getting better. They're a team — you can't just show up and win."

Not anymore, thankfully. 

Sixers 2016 draft pick Furkan Korkmaz wins BCL Best Young Player honors

Sixers 2016 draft pick Furkan Korkmaz wins BCL Best Young Player honors

What has Furkan Korkmaz been up to these days? The Sixers’ 2016 26th overall pick received Best Young Player honors in the Basketball Champions League (BCL) this weekend.

Korkmaz, 19, stayed overseas after he was selected by the Sixers last year. He began the season playing for Anadolu Efes and joined Banvit on loan for the opportunity to get more playing time.

Korkmaz is averaging 11.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists over nine games with Banvit. On Friday he scored 13 points (4 for 6 from three), including a key late-game trey, in Banvit’s semifinals win over Monaco.

Korkmaz was aware of who was in attendance watching this performance: Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo.

“Of course, Colangelo’s visit brought extra motivation,” Korkmaz told Eurohoops.net. “My dream is to play in NBA. It’s always on my mind. I cannot think of it in the match. It did not create much pressure anyway. I just knew I had to add something, give something. I am happy to have accomplished this.”

Korkmaz is under contract with Anadolu Efes for next season.

Watch some of the highlights that earned him the Best Young Player award here:

Sixers 2016-17 player evaluation: Shawn Long

Sixers 2016-17 player evaluation: Shawn Long

Shawn Long

Position: Center

Status for 2017-18: Non-guaranteed for $1,312,611

Long in 2016-17
Long went undrafted last June and signed with the Sixers for Summer League ball. He stayed with the team through camp and played in seven preseason games before he was waived.

After that, Long spent the majority of his season in Delaware with the 87ers. The Louisiana-Lafayette product made an impression with his standout play down in the D-League. He even earned himself a D-League All-Star nod and was named to the All-NBA D-League Second Team after the season. He put together consistent double-doubles for the 87ers and averaged 20.2 points and 11.1 rebounds over 29.5 minutes. He even scored 45 points in a game at one point.

Still, all of this likely wouldn't have earned him a role if it weren't for injuries. Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor went down with injuries while Nerlens Noel was traded, opening a need for a third center as Tiago Splitter — acquired from Atlanta in the trade for Ersan Ilyasova — rehabbed his way back to the court. 

Making his debut on March 6, Long played in 18 games the rest of the way, putting up 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest for the Sixers. He shot 56 percent from the field while stepping out to hit 36.8 percent of his threes, helping stretch the floor for the struggling Sixers. Originally on the team on a 10-day contract, he earned himself a three-year deal that was guaranteed through the end of the 2016-17 season.

Signature game
Long earned one double-double in his 18-game stint. His 15-point, 10-rebound effort came in a loss to the Pacers in late March. His best and most efficient game came two nights earlier.

On March 24, Long needed just 19 minutes to score 18 points on 8 for 10 shooting. He grabbed seven rebounds as well as the Sixers earned a 117-107 win over the playoff-bound Chicago Bulls on the road.

Looking ahead to 2017-18
The Sixers have an offseason to get healthy and that means Long's time with the Sixers may come to at least a momentary end at the beginning of the season. Even if Okafor is traded, Embiid will return next fall alongside Richaun Holmes and the Sixers could easily bring in a veteran — possibly Splitter — to absorb the rest of the team's minutes at center. 

The 6-foot-9 Long won't necessarily be without a job. He'll have the chance to prove himself in summer league or training camp again and potentially earn a look with another team if the Sixers pass. If he does stay in Philly, expect him to be shuttled between the NBA and D-League in order to earn consistent minutes. The developing stretch-five did show something in his limited NBA minutes and likely hasn't seen the end of his NBA career.

On Long
"I think that Shawn Long has really grabbed his brief opportunities and been more than serviceable. He's shown reasons why he should be considered a genuine NBA player."

- Sixers head coach Brett Brown