76ers give up on Markelle Fultz with trade to Magic

76ers give up on Markelle Fultz with trade to Magic

Fifteen or so minutes before the NBA trade deadline, just when you started to think the Sixers might have made a decision to keep Markelle Fultz and trust that the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft would one day be back on a basketball court and resemble the dynamic, smooth-shooting player he was at the University of Washington, the news broke.

Of interest to fans of the Philadelphia 76ers is the fact that, according to Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic are both interested in pursuing a trade with the Sixers for Markelle Fultz.

The selection of Fultz won't turn out to be a complete wash for the 76ers, but the return of a first-round pick from a projected playoff team, a second-round pick and Simmons pales in comparison to the haul of the No. 3 overall pick and additional first-round pick they sent the Celtics to select him. He's building the Sixers to win now, while he knows that his Big 4 of Harris, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will be around. He's owed $5.7 million next season if the Sixers decide to keep him.

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The point guard is averaging 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 19 games this season.

It became increasingly clear that Fultz was not a part of those plans. Everything else has been speculative. Sometimes, the best thing is to admit you flubbed the pick (which, in Philly's defense, was more or less a consensus choice at the time) and move on. It's an ideal situation for the former Sixers point guard to go to.

The Celtics were able to turn Markelle Fultz into Jayson Tatum. At Washington, Markelle Fultz looked like the prototypical National Basketball Association lead guard. His weird off-court saga, the mysterious disappearance of his jump shot, subsequent injury woes and the fact he'd become a poor fit next to ball-dominant Ben Simmons had made this a tenuous situation.

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