How Will the Markelle Fultz Saga Play Out?

As reported last week, Markelle Fultz has shutdown all basketball activities while he sees a specialist for his shoulder.  This was a dramatic turn in the Markelle Fultz saga and it allegedly caught the Sixers front office off guard.  It appears that both sides are prepared to move on, so let’s take a look at some trade scenarios for Fultz.

Best Case Scenario

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Sixers acquire Bradley Beal

Washington Wizards acquire Markelle Fultz, Wilson Chandler, and a unprotected 2021 Miami first-round pick.

Analysis: It doesn’t seem like Fultz has much value so this would be a fantastic result if the Sixers were able to walk away with Bradley Beal.  This move would either spell J.J. Redick to the bench or the Sixers would play small with Jimmy Butler at the 4 while Redick and Beal would man the wing spots.  The Sixers would probably still need to add at least one more piece to the bench, however this move would provide them with an elite shooter, something they sorely lack outside of Redick.

Most Likely Scenario

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Sixers acquire J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver

Cavaliers acquire Markelle Fultz and Wilson Chandler

Analysis: Smith and Korver would provide outside shooting and add depth to the bench.  However, both players are set to earn a combined $23 million in 2019-2020.  The Sixers may not be interested in adding long-term salary however their hands may be tied if they hope to move on from Fultz.  Given how low Fultz’s value is at this point, a variation of this type of trade feels like what the Sixers will net for the former #1 overall pick.

Worst Case Scenario

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Sixers acquire Dragan Bender, Troy Daniels, and a 2020 top-10 protected first-round pick

Suns acquire Markelle Fultz

Analysis: The Sixers have most likely reached out to teams in desperate need of a point guard and the Suns fit that bill.  Phoenix would have the patience to allow Fultz to develop and he would be somewhat off the national radar playing for the Suns.  The worst-case scenario for Philly is that Fultz’s value is so low that they can’t recoup any short-term assets that can help them compete this year.  Bender was highly touted coming into the NBA but he has failed to meet expectations.   The Sixers are already on track to take a giant L for selecting Fultz with the first overall pick.  However, if the Sixers fail to net an established player who can help them win now or a valuable pick that they can use as a trade chip, then the Fultz tenure would be an unmitigated disaster.

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