The Philadelphia Sixers decided to trade point guard Markelle Fultz, the former number one draft pick that they selected in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The Sixers (34-20) traded Fultz to the Orlando Magic (23-32) for forward Jonathon Simmons, plus a 2020 first-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick.
Fultz, 20, played only one season with the Washington Huskies before he declared eligible for the NBA draft. He only played 33 professional games over the last two seasons for the Sixers. He appeared in only 14 games in his rookie season, yet only played in 19 games this season averaging 8.2 points and 3.1 assists per game.
Philly Sixers trade: Markelle Fultz
Orlando Magic trade: Jonathon Simmons, 2020 first round pick, 2019 second round pick
Fultz Philly Bust?
The Sixers made a trade with the Boston Celtics to secure the top pick 2017 NBA Draft. They picked Fultz with the #1 pick. The LA Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the second pick and the Boston Celtics drafted Jayson Tatum with the third pick. De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr., and Drank Ntilikina were other guards picked in the top ten that year.
Fultz did not materialize into the player the Sixers hoped. A shoulder injury sidelined him for most of the season. He returned late in the season and even posted a triple-double. At the time, the 19-year old Fultz set a record for youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double.
This season, Fultz won the starting point guard job until the Sixers acquired Jimmy Butler in a trade. Fultz then got sidelined with thoracic outlet syndrome. He had he on the injured list since then. The Sixers decided to give up on their former number-one pick. The Magic were willing to take a flier on him.
Magic president of basketball operations, Jeff Weltman said, “We look forward to getting him in here, getting our arms around him, understanding everything he’s dealing with and getting him through it. We’re going to do it right, we’re not going to do it fast.”
The Sixers front office also had to move his salary. He’s due to make $10 million next year and have to squeeze out space to accommodate the addition of Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris’ contracts.
Philly Making Moves
The Sixers boast one of the top starting lineups in the NBA with Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and JJ Reddick. Before the seasons started, the Sixers were essentially the dynamic duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Since then, they added Harris and Butler.
The Sixers acquired Tobias Harris from the LA Clippers shortly before the trade deadline. Earlier this season, they brought in a All-Star Butler after a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Butler rubbed some of his teammates the wrong way. Joel Embiid had the biggest problem adjusting. It seems like everyone smoothed things out after Butler made his mark with a couple of game-winning shots. Now, the Sixers must figure out how to integrate Harris into the offense.
The Sixers (34-20) dropped three out of their last five games, but currently hold the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They are only 1.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers with the #3 seed. In the highly-competitive Atlantic Division, the Sixers currently sit in third place behind first-place Toronto Raptors (40-16) and the Boston Celtics (35-20) in second place.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Philadelphia Sixers are now 10/1 odds to win the NBA title.