Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Philadelphia 76ers trade former top pick Markelle Fultz

Philadelphia 76ers trade former top pick Markelle Fultz

The Philadelphia 76ers have finally punted on Markelle Fultz.

The Sixers traded Fultz to the Orlando Magic shortly before Thursday's National Basketball Association trade deadline, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

In return, the Magic will send swingman Jonathon Simmons, a 2020 first-round pick and 2019 secounder back to the Sixers, per multiple reports.

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If Simmons meshes well with the other Simmons and company, then the Sixers can retain the 6-foot-6 defensive winger for half the price of Fultz's contract, but if he's underwhelming, the team can simply cash out for a minor nominal fee and reinvest that money into a more useful piece, like J.J. The top pick is a top-20 protected first-round pick from the Thunder and a second-round pick via Cleveland.

Fultz has not played since his agent announced, on November 20, that he would be out indefinitely to seek help for his ailing shoulder, and he was soon diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. James Ennis, whom the Sixers acquired Thursday in a deal with the Rockets (see story), is a decent all-around option who can knock down three-point shots (36.1 percent for his career). The Sixers just gave away Fultz for next to nothing. Redick, Tobias Harris, or Jimmy Butler, as they will all be in line for new deals. Still, the Sixers need more defense coming off the bench and that's what they get in Simmons.

The day prior, the Sixers and Boston Celtics had all but officially come to an agreement on a trade that would give the Sixers the top overall pick in the draft. Furthermore, Elton Brand has made it clear that the Sixers are in win-now mode, trying to make a run this season.

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