After a year and a half, it looks like the Markelle Fultz and Philadelphia 76ers saga might be coming to an end.
Per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Fultz is no longer in the Sixers’ long-term plans.” He also noted that “multiple sources” said the team is “considering trading Fultz.”
Today’s news comes on the heels of last week’s piece by Derek Bodner, Sam Amick and Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who reported that Fultz saw a shoulder specialist last Monday, and that he was also dealing with a right wrist injury. The piece also stated that “sources with knowledge of Fultz’s thinking have also told The Athletic that the player would prefer a fresh start with a new team.”
Fultz is currently averaging 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists this season for the Sixers, while shooting just 41 percent from the field, 28 percent from three and 57 percent from the foul line. While the 20-year-old still has a lot of potential, at this point, it’s probably best for him and the 76ers to part ways.
Fultz would be much better off on a rebuilding team, where he would have time to develop out of this limelight. Markelle’s trade value is of course at an all-time low, so it is hard to think of a team desperate enough to send a first-round pick over for him. On the other hand, I could see the Sixers trading Fultz for some expiring contracts to help free up money to re-sign Jimmy Butler to a long-term deal.
The damage due to injuries and the disconnect between Fultz, his camp and the team looks irrevocable, but let’s see how this one pans out…