Hawks, Magic Have Expressed Interest In Markelle Fultz

Tanya Simon
February 8, 2019

The Markelle Fultz era in Philadelphia has come to an end.

ESPN's Zach Lowe added that the first-round pick Philadelphia will receive originally was the Oklahoma City Thunder's 2020 pick, top-20 protected. You could reasonably envision a scenario in which Fultz's physical therapy did the trick, he rediscovered his shot, and the Sixers regretted letting him go in a win-now move.

When I wrote about my idea Fultz trade scenario, a swap for Antonio Blakeney initially suggested by Bill Simmons; I hypothesized that the team should not only attempt to add a player who fits their win-now mode but also has a team friendly contract moving forward, and Markelle's nearly $10 million a year deal would have hampered their potential moves in July.

Will he ever recapture his college form and look even remotely close to the player Bryan Colangelo envisioned when he traded two first-round picks to select him first overall?

That logic doesn't apply to this situation, or to the trade Brand made. Simmons is mostly a bench player, so recouping the draft picks will be big for Philly. Redick, Tobias Harris, or Jimmy Butler, as they will all be in line for new deals.

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There is no timetable for when Fultz will be able to play again.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Markelle [Fultz] to the Magic family", Jeff Weltman, Orlando president of basketball operations, said in a statement.

Fultz who's just 20 years old has been in and out of the lineup with a nagging shoulder and wrist injury. The Magic get a chance to develop a starting-caliber point guard and need a real scorer to place alongside Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba going forward.

One question worth asking with Orlando is why they chose to hang on to Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, both of whom are on expiring contracts and could have returned some value at the deadline. And if Fultz is reborn in central Florida, everyone will be better off for it.

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