Are Markelle Fultz’s days as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, coming to an end? It sure seems like that could be the case, especially after a recent report from Keith Pompey of Philly.com last weekend.
According to Pompey, some sources have said that Fultz is no longer in the Sixers’ long-term plans and that they are considering trading him. This piece of information did not come as a surprise as The Athletic reported last week that the former first overall pick would prefer to play elsewhere.
After that story was published, Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers immediately shot down the idea that his client wants to be traded.
“I have given no indication to Elton Brand or anyone else that Markelle would prefer to be traded.” Brothers said to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “My focus is to get Markelle healthy. End of story.”
Speaking of his health, the former University of Washington standout is reportedly expected to see specialists over the next few days per Jon Johnson of 94WIP/KYW1060.
However, where there is smoke, there is fire. While Brothers is trying the fan the smoke and fire that is coming from the Fultz smokestack, it has not stopped teams from reaching out to the Sixers.
Sam Amico of AmicoHoops reported on Sunday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers have spoken to the Sixers about the availability of Fultz. Along with the Cavs, Chris Sheridan of GetMoreSports wrote on Monday that the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns are also top contenders to acquire him.
What could the Sixers get for Fultz?
In terms of the Cavaliers, it does not make a ton of sense for them trade for Fultz as they just drafted point guard Collin Sexton in the first round of this past summer’s draft. But since they are in rebuilding mode, maybe Cleveland envisions a young backcourt of Sexton and Fultz as something they could build around.
However, when it comes to the Sixers, what could they possibly get from the Cavaliers in return for Fultz?
One option is veteran sharpshooter Kyle Korver, whom Philadelphia has been linked to since the summer. If the two teams were to swap just those players, the salaries would match perfectly.
But Fultz is worth more than Korver, despite a lackluster start to his young NBA career. Philly would have to get Korver and a first-round pick in return for the young point guard.
Would the Cavaliers or any other team be willing to give up a first-round pick for Fultz? That is a tough question to answer because the young point guard has not shown anything up to this point to boost this trade value.
Outside of the three teams mentioned above, the Suns might be actually willing to give up a first-round pick, especially since all they are missing is a starting point guard. Before this season began, Phoenix was linked to various veteran point guards in their quest to land a starter.
Thus far, the Suns have come up short but if they could somehow land Fultz, it would be a great move to round out their young core.
With that being said, it leads us back to the same question of what could Phoenix possibly offer the Sixers? Unlike the Cavs, the Suns could hypothetically trade Josh Jackson and their second first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft (Milwaukee) to the Sixers for Fultz.
In this scenario, it would be a win-win for both squads as Phoenix gets themselves a young point guard, while the Sixers add a potential late first-round pick and a young 3-and-D player in Jackson.
Nevertheless, we still have a long ways to go in the Fultz saga and figuring out what his NBA future will be.