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NBA Trade Grades: Can Markelle Fultz Resurrect Career in Orlando?

08 February, 2019, 10:57 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • MarkelleFultz- cropped

When I wrote about my idea Fultz trade scenario, a swap for Antonio Blakeney initially suggested by Bill Simmons; I hypothesized that the team should not only attempt to add a player who fits their win-now mode but also has a team friendly contract moving forward, and Markelle's nearly $10 million a year deal would have hampered their potential moves in July.

The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to trade former #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons, a top-20 protected first round pick in 2020 (via OKC) and a second-round pick (via Cleveland). The future beyond this season is uncertain for the Sixers.

The Orlando Magic have acquired shooting guard Markelle Fultz from the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Fittingly, no future is more murky than Fultz's.

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Fultz has played in just 33 National Basketball Association games since joining the 76ers in 2017. Everything else has been speculative. Still, the Sixers need more defense coming off the bench and that's what they get in Simmons.

On the morning of June 17, 2017, the Sixers put Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox through a pre-draft workout at their Camden, N.J., practice facility.

They traded Jonathan Simmons and two draft picks for him. You could reasonably envision a scenario in which Fultz's physical therapy did the trick, he rediscovered his shot, and the Sixers regretted letting him go in a win-now move.

The former Washington point guard has shot 41.4 percent from the field, 26.7 percent from 3-point distance and 53.4 percent from the line, confounding a Sixers team that anticipated Fultz being a capable scorer. 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. And by adding Simmons, he made a team that now has legitimate championship aspirations better.

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