Markelle Fultz trade rumors: Suns interested in former No. 1 pick; 76ers need him 'to be truthful' about shooting issues
Philly might have a suitor for its struggling 2017 No. 1 overall pick
There is a trade market for Markelle Fultz, after all.
According to a report by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia 76ers are interested in trading Markelle Fultz. More importantly, despite his lack of production, there is a market for the former No. 1 overall draft pick. However, in order to complete a trade for Fultz, the Sixers want him to be truthful in regard to his shooting struggles.
In other words? Stop telling people that you have wrist and shoulder issues if you really have a mental block shooting a basketball.
Markelle Fultz's trade value has dwindled, but there is a market for him -- under a certain condition. He and his representatives need to be truthful, a league source says.
In other words, potential 76ers trade partners don't want Fultz saying that his right shoulder and wrist are bothering him if he actually has a mental block that's hindering his shooting, the source said.
While that is certainly one issue that Fultz and his representatives will have to address in order for the Sixers to complete a trade, there are interested parties. As Pompey mentions, the Cleveland Cavaliers were high on a Fultz trade Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday for Alec Burks and two second-round draft picks.
Furthermore, the Phoenix Suns are now a favorite to land Fultz.
That was the word coming out of Cleveland, as the Cavaliers were interested in taking a chance on the 2017 first overall pick before trading Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, sources said. The Phoenix Suns are among the teams with some level of interest, a source said.
While it appears Cleveland may be out of the running for Fultz for now, Fultz to the Suns would make sense for a number of reasons. For one, Philly wants to get out of this situation. Jimmy Butler is the team's starting shooting guard, and barring some disaster ending to the 2018-19 season, the Sixers intend to re-sign Butler when he opts out of his deal in the offseason. Getting out of the Fultz deal ensures that Philly saves the $9.7 million guaranteed to Fultz for next season.
Secondly, the Sixers need depth on the bench, and they need a guy that can actually play defense. Trevor Ariza is regarded as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and he would improve the team's shooting with his 3-point shooting ability. Most importantly, his contract runs out after this season -- ensuring that the Sixers don't have more money on the books for the 2019-20 season.
Lastly, the Sixers would finally rid themselves of all of the negative headlines surrounding Fultz's mysterious shooting decline. This is something that has never been seen before in NBA history and it doesn't appear that it's getting any better in Philadelphia despite his increased playing time for the 2018-19 season. The story took another turn for the worse as Fultz continues to sit out gamesto determined if there's anything wrong with his shoulder.
As Philly returns to action on Friday when it hosts the Washington Wizards (7 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), a new start for both parties is probably the best way to go.
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