The Orlando Magic seem pretty hyped about their addition of Markelle Fultz.
Orlando acquired Fultz for Jonathan Simmons and two draft picks in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. Team president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman spoke about the addition after the trade was finalized and stated how much the team believes in Fultz.
Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said tonight: "Markelle Fultz was the number-one pick in the draft two years ago, and it wasn't a fluke. I think the whole league had him there. So we believe that, at 20 years old, the sky's the limit for him."
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) February 8, 2019
Yes, Fultz may have been the No. 1 pick in 2017, but I don’t know if everyone had him listed that highly the way Weltman thinks. Danny Ainge certainly did not. Plus, the player Orlando is getting now is much different from the guy who went No. 1 two years ago.
If Fultz, in his present form, were currently available in the draft, how highly do you think he would go? That’s what the Magic are getting. At least they can be patient, but we still have our doubts.
The 2019 NBA trade deadline was an exceptionally active one with multiple big names changing teams, even if the biggest name on the market ended up staying put. That doesn’t change the fact that the action, especially in the Eastern Conference, was fast and furious, and that isn’t even factoring in the Kristaps Porzingis deal.
Here are ten big takeaways from all the moves that took place prior to Thursday’s deadline.
1. The Anthony Davis saga will drag on into the summer, and the Lakers look worse for it
It didn’t seem like the New Orleans Pelicans ever had any real intention of negotiating with the Los Angeles Lakers in good faith on an Anthony Davis trade. The Pelicans have every incentive to wait until summer to deal Davis, when they should have a wider range of interested teams. The Lakers will be disappointed, as they don’t look great publicly, seem to have muddled the minds of their young players, and may now find themselves in a situation where they can be outbid. LeBron James probably won’t be happy, either.
The Philadelphia 76ers have finally punted on Markelle Fultz.
The Sixers traded Fultz to the Orlando Magic on Thursday, just beating the trade deadline.
Fultz was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 and only played in 33 games over a season and a half for the Sixers due to multiple mysterious issues. He dealt with either the yips or a shoulder injury, depending on what you choose to believe. He has been out supposedly recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome, and the Magic have decided to take a chance on him.
They traded Jonathan Simmons and two draft picks for him. The top pick is a top-20 protected first-round pick from the Thunder and a second-round pick via Cleveland. Simmons is mostly a bench player, so recouping the draft picks will be big for Philly.
NBA reporter Keith Smith says the Sixers will take caution with Fultz and that he may not play for them this season.
Source: Orlando will exercise patience with Markelle Fultz's return to play. The Magic are taking the long-view with Fultz potentially being the starting guard to pair with the rest of their young core. Don't be surprised if Fultz doesn't return to play this season.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 7, 2019
The Magic now have another young player to add to their core, joining Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Mo Bamba, and Evan Fournier.
Markelle Fultz’s rehab is making some progress, according to a new report.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Fultz has returned to Philadelphia to continue his rehab from thoracic outlet syndrome, and will be working out at the team’s facility with the continued aim of returning before the end of the season.
Guard Markelle Fultz has returned to Philadelphia to continue his shoulder rehabilitation with the Sixers, league sources tell ESPN. No timetable yet on a return to the lineup. He's attending Sixers-Thunder game today.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 19, 2019
Fultz has been undergoing therapy for thoracic outlet syndrome in Los Angeles since leaving the Sixers in early December. Sixers have had staff in California observing progress, and now Fultz will work at team's facility to try to ramp up for an eventual return to the season. https://t.co/c67hh1rI9g
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 19, 2019
There doesn’t really appear to be any major change in status at this point. Fultz wants to return this season, but there’s no timetable for it. He’s simply rehabbing at the team facility now, which is progress in a certain sense.
There was talk that Markelle Fultz wanted out of Philly, but the guard’s agent says his client will return to the 76ers this season.
Fultz’s agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Fultz will return to the Sixers when he’s fully recovered from his shoulder issue. Fultz was diagnosed with Thoracic outlet syndrome earlier this month and has been rehabbing since. The agent believes the issue has affected the guard’s ability to shoot.
Fultz, the former No. 1 overall draft pick, was with Philadelphia for their Christmas day game against the Boston Celtics. He is expected to return to Los Angeles soon to continue his rehab.
Fultz only played in 14 games last season and has played in 19 this season, starting 15 of them. For his career, he’s averaged 7.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists on 41.9 percent shooting in 20.6 minutes per game.
Don’t count on seeing Markelle Fultz traded anytime soon, a new report says.
According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, there is no urgency within the Philadelphia 76ers’ organization to trade Fultz quickly. Part of this is down to the player’s trade value being at an all-time low, and the team is not keen on receiving little of value in exchange for the former first overall selection.
In addition, some members of ownership are not enthusiastic about trading Fultz at all. There is some belief that they should exercise patience and give him a chance to find himself, especially after the Sixers traded up to select him.
Fultz’s shooting has been the main problem, but doctors believe they’ve found the root cause of his struggles. From the perspective of maximizing value, trading him right now doesn’t make sense. By keeping him, however, the 76ers run the risk of further ruining Fultz’s trade value if he fails to recover quickly or make any progress with his shot.
The Phoenix Suns have no interest in acquiring Markelle Fultz, according to a report.
Fultz is out recovering from a recent diagnosis of Thoracic outlet syndrome. The 2017 No. 1 overall pick has only played in 19 games this season and is dealing with either mental or physical problems or both, depending on what you believe.
However, host John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix reported on Twitter that the Suns have no interest in Fultz and no desire to take him on.
There have been a lot of people asking about a trade for Markelle Fultz. I will reiterate that I do not see it. From what I am hearing the Suns have no interest in Fultz, no desire to take on him and any issues he has.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) December 11, 2018
The Suns seemed like a logical landing spot for Fultz. They are doing poorly in the standings, trying to land a draft pick, and could seemingly take a chance on a player many viewed as having talent and upside. But if Phoenix is not even interested, it’s hard to imagine many others will be.
Fultz has only played in 33 games since being drafted and has averaged just 7.7 points and 3.4 assists in 20.6 minutes per game.