One year ago, Markelle Fultz was the toast of the NBA world after being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Fultz was expected to join Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as the core of a franchise that seemed primed to be a force in the Eastern Conference for years to come. But after sitting out a majority of his rookie season due to a shoulder injury that also zapped him of his ability to shoot, it appears that Fultz might not be in the 76ers’ long-term future.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday that while the 76ers are saying they are committed to the young guard, Fultz was being shopped during this year’s NBA Draft.
“The Sixers say they aren’t shopping him.,” Pompey writes. “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.”
Fultz currently is working on his jump shot in Los Angeles with shooting coach Drew Hanlen. Hanlen admitted that Fultz had “the yips” and forgot how to shoot but claims he is making progress, per Pompey.
It might be hard for the 76ers to move on from Fultz so quickly. Philadelphia moved up to take the Washington guard, sending the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and the Sacramento Kings’ 2019 first-round pick to the Boston Celtics to go up and grab Fultz. The C’s drafted Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick, and the Duke product wowed in his opening campaign while Fultz barely played.
Philadelphia picked two guards in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, signaling that Fultz might soon be on his way out of town. But with his stock at a rock bottom, the 76ers might be hard-pressed to find a suitor.
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