Markelle Fultz

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Pistons 'among many teams' interested in Fultz

Andrew Porter
December 14, 2018 - 2:04 pm
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The Pistons are among "many teams interested in Markelle Fultz" and have begun to do their "due diligence" on possible trade options, according to Rob Beard of The Detroit News

Fultz, 20, has a cap hit of $8,339,880 this season and $9,745,200 next season, before a 2020-21 $12,288,697 club option, per spotrac. Just shedding his salary, at this point, would be at least of some value to the Sixers. Of course, you can assume the front office still hopes Fultz figures this thing out and returns to form—at least somewhat. 

Related: 3 potential Markelle Fultz trades

On Saturday, December 15th newly signed players become eligible to be traded, like José Calderón, Glenn Robinson III, and Zaza Pachulia of the aforementioned Pistons. Detroit guards Langston Galloway ($7.0M in 2018-19, $7.33M in 2019-20) and former Sixer Ish Smith ($6.0M in 2018-19) have similar salaries to Fultz. 

The Pistons' most athletic wing player is Stanley Johnson, the No. 8 overall pick in 2015. The 6-7, 22-year-old wing has struggled to start his career, averaging just 7.0 PPG and shooting 37.0-percent from the field in 219 games (57 starts). Johnson has a cap-hit of $3,940,402 this season and a qualifying offer of $5,311,661 next season. 

The Sixers have been holding onto an extra roster spot since the Jimmy Butler trade, waiting patiently. Elton Brand said during a TV broadcast after the trade that the team is looking for, most importantly, an athletic player who can defend multiple positions. The Sixers could certainly use help guarding opposing guards, as guys like Spencer Dinwiddie and Kemba Walker have torched them this season. 

Fultz has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. The other players NBA players ever known to have this condition are Ben Uzoh and Landry Fields. Uzoh, who suspected Fultz had this syndrome back in the summer of 2017, spoke to The Undefeated about the situation in a story published on Friday. 

“Listen to his body and take it a day at a time,” Uzoh told The Undefeated. “Therapy and his mental approach are No. 1. Stay away from things that would distract him as far as Instagram, the tweets and things like that. All of those things can negate and throw him off instead of speed him up. He probably has a timeline he has to follow. He has to stay the course in terms of what his people are telling him and with the course of action in place."

Candace Buckner of The Washington Post also wrote a piece on Fultz, which was published today. The title? From No. 1 draft pick to basketball’s biggest enigma: No one knows what’s up with Markelle Fultz. The story detailed reports about Fultz's mother, Ebony, being overprotective and his personal trainer and long-time mentor, Keith Williams, now out of the picture.