Markelle Fultz entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of helping the Philadelphia 76ers fully dominate the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, the 20-year-old struggled earlier this season and failed to live up to expectations from a former No. 1 overall pick. As of now, rumors and speculations continue to swirl around Fultz and his future with the Sixers.
In line with the reports that Markelle Fultz wants a fresh start on a new team, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed that the Sixers no longer consider the young point guard as part of their long-term plans and may consider moving him before the February NBA trade deadline. With his poor performance and current injuries, Fultz’s trade value has diminished.
However, Pompey believes there is still a market for Markelle Fultz. Rebuilding teams like the Phoenix Suns who are in dire need of a starting caliber point guard could explore the possibility of trading for Fultz. With the Sixers currently in a win-now mode, they definitely prefer a quality player instead of a future draft pick in exchange for Fultz.
Pompey suggested that the Suns could offer a trade package centered on veteran small forward Trevor Ariza to the Sixers to acquire Markelle Fultz.
“A guy such as Suns small forward Trevor Ariza, who signed a one-year free-agent deal, would the perfect fit with the Sixers as a solid shooter and defender. If needed, he could play power forward in the Sixers system, as Wilson Chandler, another traditional small forward, is doing. Ariza, Butler, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid would form a stellar defensive quartet in the starting lineup to go with the sharpshooting JJ Redick. That would also enable the Sixers to bring Chandler off the bench.”
ESPN story on Sixers guard Markelle Fultz continuing visits to specialists into next week. https://t.co/IqopEdgLWU
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 30, 2018
At this point in his NBA career, playing on a rebuilding team like the Suns is a big waste of time for Trevor Ariza. He will be better off joining a team where he has a chance of contending for the NBA championship title. Ariza will undeniably be a great addition to the Sixers. He may not be a prolific scorer, but he can boost the Sixers’ defense and be a huge threat from beyond the arc.
Trading Trevor Ariza’s expiring contract for Markelle Fultz is a no-brainer for the Suns. Based on their current standing, the Suns must be aware that their roster is not in a position to compete in the deep Western Conference. As of now, they should focus on the development of their young core and continue adding players that fit the timeline of the face of the franchise, Devin Booker.