The Sad Saga Ends in Orlando
Image: Yong Kim/Philly.com
Markelle Fultz has been traded to Orlando. The former 1st Overall Pick in the 2017 Draft was exchanged for Magic SG/SF Jonathon Simmons, OKC’s 1st Round Pick in 2020 (Top 20 Protected), and CLE’s 2nd Round Pick in 2019.
Fultz, once thought of as the final piece of the 76ers’ Process, infamously lost his collegiate form between the 2017 Summer League and the 2017-18 Season opener. Whatever the reason for this loss of ability, be it mental or physical, was something extremely difficult for all involved to endure. The Magic see this trade as a high-upside play, hoping that their medical and coaching staffs will be able to mold Fultz into the player he was projected to be.
From Philadelphia’s perspective, this trade falls under numerous categories. On one hand, those who still believed in Fultz likely see this as a short-sighted move and an unfortunate punt on an extremely talented prospect. On the other hand, the Sixers acquire two useful assets, and a player, in the day following their blockbuster move for Tobias Harris.
The Oklahoma City Thunder 1st Rounder, as many remember, is the same one acquired by the team in the Jerami Grant trade a few years ago. More infuriating memories arise when it is remembered that former GM Bryan Colangelo traded this pick to the Magic for 2017 1st Round Pick Anžejs Pasečņiks, the Latvian Center selected right before the likes of Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Jarret Allen. According to sources, this pick was included in the trade instead of Magic Wing Terrence Ross, at Orlando’s wishes. The other draft capital acquired is Cleveland’s 2nd Round pick in this upcoming summer’s draft. While still a 2nd Rounder, the Cavaliers are projected to finish as one of the bottom 3-5 teams in the league. In addition to the already controlled 2nd Rounder from Chicago, and the Sixers likely have 3 draft picks in the Top 35.
Jonathon Simmons, the player trade to the Sixers, has not had a good year in Orlando. After a promising career start in San Antonio, the Wing signed a lucrative deal with the Magic, only for his stats to drop yearly on the rebuilding team. While only shooting 36.4% from the field and 22.9% from 3, the new Simmons does bring some needed size (6’6″, 195 lbs) and defensive ability to Philly’s Shooting Guard rotation. Simmons is under contract for next season at a cap hit of $5.7 million, but only $1 million of that is guaranteed, meaning that he can be cut with little repercussion.
We here at Philadelphia Sports Nation thank Markelle Fultz for his service here the last 2 seasons and hope for the best in regards to both his career and life.
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