The Markelle Fultz era in Philadelphia has come to an end. He has played in 33 games overall since being drafted, averaging 7.7 points and shooting just 26% from the three-point line.
The 76ers traded up in the 2017 draft with the rival Boston Celtics to grab Fultz with the first pick, a move that has failed in hindsight as Boston got arguably the best player in the draft with the No. 3 pick in Jayson Tatum.
Fultz has been sidelined since November 19 after being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition that affects the nerves between the neck and shoulder. The second-round pick will be the most favorable of Cleveland, Houston and Orlando's selections in this year's draft, meaning it will likely be a valuable choice in the early 30s. "There's a real possibility he's played his last game with the 76ers".
Fultz is getting moved for Jonathan Simmons, as well as a 2020 first-round pick that Philadelphia used to own but was conveyed in other deals.
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With all the uncertainty surrounding Fultz's future, this trade is ideally the best the Sixers could get for the former top pick.
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. Outside of one game where he recorded a triple-double, Fultz offered nearly nothing to the team during his time with the Sixers.
The 20-year old point guard missed most of his rookie season with a shoulder injury and his struggles shooting the ball have been well documented over the course of his young National Basketball Association career. Despite being a 41.3-percent 3-point shooter in college, Fultz has connected on just 4-of-15 long-range attempts since entering the league.