Markelle Fultz

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Fultz pick among biggest mistakes in Sixers history

Dave Uram
February 08, 2019 - 7:33 am

The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t won an NBA Championship since 1983, and prior to that, their previous one was 1967. The current regime likes to remind you of the 1955 Syracuse Nationals, but no one in Philadelphia who roots for the Sixers cares about the Nats. 

In the time spanning those two Sixers championships, as well as every season after 1983, the 76ers have made some infamously bad moves, including trading up in the 2017 NBA Draft to select Markelle Fultz. It might be the worst decision in Sixers history. You decide. 

Markelle Fultz Trade (Not The One To Orlando)

Bryan Colangelo swapped the third overall pick for the first with the Celtics, while also giving them a future first round pick. The Celtics selected Jayson Tatum, who owns the Sixers. Fultz played 33 games for Philadelphia, averaging only 7.7 points per game while making a dismal four total three-pointers. 

Andrew Bynum Disaster 

After losing to the Boston Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Sixers were part of a four-team deal that sent Andre Iguodala, Nic Vucevic and Maurice Harkless elsewhere for Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. Bynum never played one game for the 76ers because of bad knees. He did, however, bowl and go dancing. 

1998 NBA Draft

One of Larry Brown’s faults was that he didn’t like playing young players, and as a result, was a poor evaluator of young talent. In 1998 he took Larry Hughes with the eighth overall pick, passing up on Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce. Can you imagine either one of those future Hall of Famers paired with Allen Iverson?  Enough said.

Charles Barkley to Phoenix 

By 1992, Charles Barkley was tired of losing in Philadelphia, a franchise which was about to enter a decade of futility. He demanded a trade and get dealt to the Suns for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry and Andrew Lang. Barkley ended up winning MVP in his first season with Phoenix, while non of the three players the Sixers acquired amounted to anything. One of the best players in franchise history left town for practically nothing.

Moses Malone/1st Overall Pick Trades

Right before the 1986 draft, the Sixers traded Moses Malone, two first-round picks and Terry Cartledge to the Washington Bullets for Jeff Ruland and Cliff Robinson (not the one who played for the Blazers).

That same night, they dealt the first overall pick to the Cavaliers for Roy Hinson and cash. They weren’t a fan of Brad Daugherty, who ended up being a five-time All-Star.

Wilt Chamberlain goes to the Lakers 

Arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, for what appeared to be a variety of reason, wanted out of his home town of Philadelphia after the 1968 season, which ended in historic fashion tot he Boston Celtics, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit in the Eastern Division Finals. General Manager Dr. Jack Ramsay traded Chamberlain to the Lakers for Darrall Imhoff, Archie Clark and Jerry Chambers. Simply put, no trade involving Chamberlain would’ve been fair.

Impossible To Rank, You Be The Judge 

It’s hard to rank these six decisions, which are all infamously terrible in their own unique way. But, lining them up on one page signifies just how bad the Fultz deal turned out. Tatum is the same age as Fultz, and will probably give the Sixers fits for years come. For some reason, Colangelo valued Fultz higher than Tatum and felt compelled to give a division foe the valuable asset of a future first round pick. It is and will forever be mind boggling.