As the 2018-19 NBA season goes deeper, rumors and speculations continue to swirl around Markelle Fultz and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. When the reports about his wrist and shoulder injuries surfaced, rumors also circulated that the former No. 1 pick prefers a fresh start on a new team. Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers, already denied that they are demanding a trade from the Sixers.
However, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Markelle Fultz is no longer part of the Sixers’ long-term plans and the team may consider moving him before the February NBA trade deadline. Once Fultz returns to his 100 percent health, the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic are expected to express a strong interest in adding him to their team, according to Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports.
“Nobody wants to trade for Markelle Fultz right now. Not a single NBA team. But if the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft returns to the court anytime soon, the top contenders to acquire him are the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic, according to a player close to Fultz who spoke to Get More Sports on condition of anonymity Sunday night.”
Since the 2018 NBA offseason, the Suns have been aggressive on the trade market, searching for a starting caliber point guard. After losing Brandon Knight in a trade deal with the Houston Rockets, the Suns are only left with three inexperienced floor generals — Ellie Okobo, Isaiah Canaan, and De’Anthony Melton. Markelle Fultz will be a great addition to the Suns. He will not only immediately address their major problem at the point guard position, but he also fits in the timeline of the face of the franchise, Devin Booker.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 26, 2018
In a potential deal with the Sixers, Sheridan suggested that the Suns could offer a trade package centered on veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford to Philadelphia for Markelle Fultz.
“On Phoenix, one player that might interest the Sixers is Jamal Crawford, the NBA’s all-time leader in 4-point plays. He would theoretically fill the void left by the departure of Marco Belinelli, but is ineligible to be traded until Jan. 15.”
In exchange for Markelle Fultz, the Sixers will be adding a veteran who could boost their second unit. At 38, Jamal Crawford still has lots of gas left in his tank, and it will definitely be better for him to spend his remaining years in the league playing for a legitimate playoff contender than a rebuilding team like the Suns. Aside from adding a salary cap filler, the Suns may also be needing to add at least one future draft pick to further convince the Sixers to send the former No. 1 pick to Phoenix.