Bryan Colangelo is full of crap.
That’s the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the Philadelphia 76ers general manager claiming Friday during an end-of-season press conference that he doesn’t regret trading up to No. 1 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft to select Markelle Fultz… ahead of Jayson Tatum.
The Sixers, of course, traded the No. 3 pick and a future first-rounder to the Boston Celtics for the opportunity to select Fultz at No. 1. The Celtics scooped up Tatum at No. 3, after the Los Angeles Lakers chose Lonzo Ball at No. 2.
The move was reasonable at the time, as Fultz was projected to go first overall in most mock drafts. But things have changed quite a bit over the last 11 months. Tatum, who had a fantastic rookie season, torched the Sixers for 23.6 points per game in the teams’ second-round playoff series, which the Celtics won in five games, while Fultz didn’t play a single minute.
Of course, it’d be foolish to write off Fultz completely. He’s turning just 20 years old this month and has plenty of time to overcome his disastrous rookie campaign, which saw him battle mechanical (and seemingly mental) issues related to his shot. But one can’t help but play “what if” from a Philadelphia standpoint, as a core featuring Tatum, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would look nasty right now.
Nevertheless, Colangelo is sticking to his guns, explaining Friday the organization still has high hopes for Fultz.
So, do you believe Colangelo about not kicking himself in the ass? Nah, me neither. Although it sure would have been awkward for him to admit the organization’s misstep.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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