Hawks, Magic Have Expressed Interest In Markelle Fultz

MarkelleFultz- cropped

The Markelle Fultz era is finally over in Philadelphia.

The Magic sent forward Jonathon Simmons, a protected 2020 first-round pick (via Oklahoma City) and a 2019 second-round pick to the Sixers.

Fultz's representatives informed the Sixers last month that the guard would be shut down until he had been examined by specialists. He has played in 33 games overall since being drafted, averaging 7.7 points and shooting just 26% from the three-point line.

The second-rounder will be the most favorable among the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets and the Magic.

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. It seems that every other day, there's a new report about Fultz and whether or not the Sixers will deal him.

It became increasingly clear that Fultz was not a part of those plans. Simmons is mostly a bench player, so recouping the draft picks will be big for Philly.

With all the uncertainty surrounding Fultz's future, this trade is ideally the best the Sixers could get for the former top pick. Despite being a 41.3-percent 3-point shooter in college, Fultz has connected on just 4-of-15 long-range attempts since entering the league.

That logic doesn't apply to this situation, or to the trade Brand made.

Orlando thinks the 20-year-old can still reach his potential despite his early struggles, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman told reporters Thursday shortly after the team traded for the guard.

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