The Philadelphia 76ers are rumored to be considering trading Markelle Fultz before next week’s trade deadline, giving the oft-injured guard a new setting and potentially adding some pieces for a title run this year.
According to a report from Jon Johnson of KYWN, the Sixers are checking interest around the league for the former top draft pick, who has struggled through a series of injuries and has appeared in only 19 games so far this season. The report claimed that the team has “reengaged league interest” in Fultz, who had been the subject of trade rumors earlier this season as he struggled to find a permanent place in the lineup.
There could be some major complications for the Sixers given his injury history. Earlier this season, the point guard was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, which requires a long-term recovery. Fultz came into the league with the potential to become one of the NBA’s top point guards and was thought to be the centerpiece of an ascending Sixers team, but instead he had played little role as the team has become an Eastern Conference contender.
If the NBA trade rumors are true, it is not clear what the Philadelphia 76ers might fetch in return for Markelle Fultz. As Philly Voice noted, the team may want to trade Fultz now and add some immediate help for this season, when the team has a good chance of winning the now LeBron James-less conference.
Given Fultz’s potential value beyond the trade deadline, it may make the most sense to deal him now and take the best return they can get, the report added.
“Holding onto Fultz (and thus, your most logical trade chip) through the deadline banks on your current roster plus buyout targets to give you the boost down the stretch,” the report noted. “The Sixers are unlikely to get a boost as big as the one they got from Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova on the buyout market this season, and betting that they’ll get it from Fultz, given the history here, seems even more unlikely.”
The Sixers are currently third in the Eastern Conference, four games behind the conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks.
Miami Heat are interested in Philadelphia 76ers guard, Markelle Fultz.— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) February 1, 2019
Last month, Fultz was diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) And has not played organized basketball in some time. pic.twitter.com/p8xuvCzi5f
Even before Friday’s report that the Philadelphia 76ers were giving thought to trading Markelle Fultz, there had been reports that the Miami Heat were interested in the point guard, though it was not clear what they might offer for him.