Apparently Markelle Fultz’s success was the hill Bryan Colangelo was willing to die on.
We know the former Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations was a big fan of Fultz entering the 2017 NBA Draft, so much so that he swung a deal with the Boston Celtics to land the No. 1 pick and select the Washington guard.
But not everyone in the organization shared Colangelo’s sentiment, according to a report from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
“It was a decision praised at the time, but after Fultz struggled in his workout with the Sixers last June, league sources say some Sixers front-office members suggested that despite making the trade, the team should have taken a second look at (Jayson) Tatum or Lonzo Ball. But the idea was shot down by Colangelo, according to sources.”
Fultz actually had a bumpy workout in Boston, as well, which turned out to be a sign of things to come. The rookie point guard played in just 14 regular season games while taking heat from Colangelo’s wife on Twitter, as Ball showed flashes of promise with the Lakers and Tatum went on to set rookie records for the Eastern Conference finalist Celtics.
The jury obviously is still out on all three players — just ask Colangelo — but Tatum clearly looks like the best player of that crop. Considering Fultz’s mysterious shoulder issues, Ball possibly could have been a better selection, as well.
The fallout from that draft will be another general manager’s problem, though, as Colangelo is out of a job with a noticeably damaged reputation.
Thumbnail photo via James Lang/USA TODAY Sports Images
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