NBA trade rumors: 76ers' Markelle Fultz was available on draft night
The 76ers could have decided to trade Markelle Fultz
When the 76ers drafted Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick it was supposed to be the perfect conclusion to years of rebuilding. Philadelphia had gone through so much losing, but with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Fultz the 76ers had a core primed for years of winning.
Philadelphia still might have a core destined for years of competing, but Fultz might not be part of that equation. Fultz sat out most of his rookie year with a shoulder injury that apparently made him forget how to shoot a basketball. In one of the weirdest stories of last season, the No. 1 overall pick couldn't play due to injury and not being able to shoot. It was bizarre and it left many wondering what Fultz's future in Philadelphia was going to be like.
The 76ers say he's going to be a part of their future and that he's not being shopped, but Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Fultz was very much available on draft night.
The Sixers say they aren't shopping him. However, there was a report that they had internal discussions about packing him with Nos. 10 and 26 picks to move up into the Top 5 in Thursday's draft. And multiple league sources have said that Fultz was available to be traded.
But it's hard to get equal value in return for someone relearning how to shoot. The Sixers know that. They also know that if things do come together, Fultz will be a special player. He has the potential to become the type of player they would regret trading away.
It's a little surprising to hear that Fultz was even available at all in a trade, because he's a former No. 1 overall pick, but it's a rumor that makes sense. He struggled his rookie year, and this is arguably when he'll have his most value as a prospect. If Fultz's career declines from here then he could become a No. 1 pick that Philadelphia can't even get a good return on. However, at the same time, the 76ers aren't going to trade him for nothing. The asking price for him was likely extremely high.
While Pompey reports that Fultz was available, he also says that the 76ers are continuing to work with Fultz on regaining the shooting form he entered the NBA with. It's going to take time to fix that, but they haven't abandoned him.
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