Sixers split on whether to trade Markelle Fultz; front office looking for high first-round pick, according to report

What happens with Philadelphia 76ers point guard Markelle Fultz is one of the most interesting questions in the NBA. The former No. 1 overall pick has been beset with a strange shoulder ailment for most of his career thus far, one that has held him to just 33 games, and limited his play when he's got on the court. 

He finally got a diagnosis -- thoracic outlet syndrome -- in recent weeks though, and there's hope that with proper treatment, he can return to the form he showed before entering the NBA. But quite understandably, there's reason to doubt that he'll ever live up to the expectations that come with being the No. 1 pick. One thing that does seem certain, is that Fultz would benefit from a trade and a fresh start on a new team. 

It doesn't seem like that will happen any time soon though. According to a report from Keith Pompey, the team's ownership group is split on whether to trade Fultz. Via the Philadelphia Inquirer: 

But the team is in no rush to trade Fultz.

A lot of that has to do with his dwindling trade value combined with the ownership group's philosophy of not giving up assets for zilch. The ownership group also isn't in total agreement with what do with Fultz, according to league sources.

They view his becoming a star for another team worse than him remaining a Sixer and continuing to struggle. Former general manager Bryan Colangelo, who drafted Fultz, would get the blame in the latter scenario. However, the front-office holdovers and ownership group would have to look at themselves in the mirror if they trade Fultz for next to nothing and he goes on to become the star they thought he was going to be when they drafted him.

Additionally, there is little market for him, and the Sixers want to get a high first-round pick in return -- a prize that may be unrealistic. 

A league source said the Sixers don't want to part ways with Fultz unless a first-round pick is packaged in a deal for him. And they're not talking about a late first-rounder, either.

League executives believe the Sixers will settle for less as it gets closer to the Feb. 7 trade deadline, because there really isn't a trade market for Fultz right now. There's too much skepticism surrounding his shooting woes and his shoulder issues.

The dilemma over whether to give up on Fultz now and try to recoup some value, thus risking him figuring things out on a different team is very real, and is not an enviable situation. It's not surprising at all that there are varying thoughts on that topic inside the organization. It's also why we'll likely see the Sixers hold on to Fultz until at least the trade deadline. 

Regardless, it will be fascinating to see what happens with Fultz going forward. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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