Markelle Fultz

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Sixers trade Markelle Fultz to Magic

February 07, 2019 - 2:48 pm
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By Eliot Shorr-Parks and Andrew Porter

The Markelle Fultz era is finally over in Philadelphia. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Fultz has been traded to the Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick. The deal ends Fultz’s time with the Sixers after just one-and-a-half seasons with the team. The first-round pick is from Oklahoma City and the second-rounder is from Cleveland, per Kevin O'Connor

Related: Sixers to acquire James Ennis from Rockets​

Simmons, 29, is a 6-6 bench player, who is averaging just 6.9 points in 20.6 minutes per game for Orlando this season. Simmons is owed $1 million next season, as it is partially guaranteed. He's owed $5.7 million next season if the Sixers decide to keep him.

Fultz's struggles with the Sixers have been well documented, as the former No. 1 overall pick has played in just 19 games this season. He has played in 33 games overall since being drafted, averaging 7.7 points and shooting just 26% from the three-point line. 

Here are some thoughts on the Sixers decision to trade Fultz:

*** Fultz being moved to another team now cements his place near, or at, the top of the all-time busts list. Outside of one game where he recorded a triple-double, Fultz offered almost nothing to the team during his time with the Sixers. Why it never worked with the Sixers can be debated, but regardless of the reason, the Sixers wasted multiple valuable assets to get Fultz. That decision by former general manager Bryan Colangelo proved to be a massive mistake. 

*** Fultz will be best remembered by Sixers fans, and fans around the NBA, for his struggle to fix his shot. Fultz, an excellent shooter coming out of Washington (47.6 FG% / 41.3 3P% / 64.9 FT%) and one of the main reasons the Sixers moved up to get him, quickly became unable to shoot after his first summer as an NBA player. Whether it is because of injury or something else, it is certainly one of the strangest things to happen in the history of the NBA.

*** Although the chances of Fultz becoming a productive player for the Sixers had to be considered extremely slim, it is worth noting that Fultz developing into a role player would have been a nice consolation prize at this point. One of the Sixers’ biggest needs is a backup point-guard who can defend and knock down open shots, and take some of the burden off of T.J. McConnell.

*** With a cap hit of $8.3 million this season and $9.7 next season, moving Fultz became necessary if the Sixers plan on trying to sign both Jimmy Butler and newly-acquired Tobias Harris this offseason. With Joel Embiid on his rookie scale max contract and Ben Simmons likely to accept his in the near future, it is going to be tough for the Sixers to squeeze both Harris and Butler under the salary cap (projected to be around $109 million in 2019-20 and $118 million in 2020-21), and that’s without even mentioning impending free-agent JJ Redick. Paying Fultz nearly $10 million as a potentially non-contributor yet seems irresponsible. Furthermore, Elton Brand has made it clear that the Sixers are in win-now mode, trying to make a run this season. Fultz was certainly not helping in that department.

 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at [email protected]!

You can reach Andrew Porter on Twitter @And_Porter or email him at [email protected].

 

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