NBA 2018/19: 3 possible trade destinations for Markelle Fultz
Markelle Fultz was linked with a move away from the Philadelphia 76ers for the entire summer although the 20-year-old surprisingly stayed in Philadelphia. A new report this week has however claimed that the organization has lost faith in the 2017 number 1 pick, and he is now available for trade.
If the reports prove to be true, there will be no shortage of suitors for a player that was the first pick of the NBA draft just 18 months ago. Franchises may also have to give less up than first anticipated for Fultz, as the 76ers have now expressed a desire to part with the youngster.
With the potential for a trade to be completed before the end of the year, here are three of the teams that will likely be interested in trading for the Philadelphia guard.
#3 Orlando Magic
Since the departure of Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic have been one of the least talked about teams in the NBA. The franchise has not reached the playoffs since the 2011/12 season and the Magic have only topped 30 wins in one of the last 6 seasons.
The team is increasingly focusing on youth, with only two players over the age of 30 on the current roster. Fultz would be an instant starter in Orlando, and the 20-year-old could be paired with other young players, Mo Bamba and Aaron Gordon.
Fultz would be able to develop his game without the expectations of challenging for a championship, and this could be vital in restoring his confidence.
#2 Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are open to trading both Bradley Beal and John Wall and if successful, the franchise will be on the lookout for a new guard. Fultz may have struggled during his first 18 months in the NBA, but there have also been flashes of brilliance such as his recent 14 point performance against the Grizzlies.
The Wizards won't be willing to swap Beal or Wall directly for Fultz, although a three-team trade may be possible in the coming months.
#1 San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are not currently in need of a starting guard, however, the franchise seems like the perfect place for Markelle Fultz to rebuild his career. Gregg Popovich is widely regarded as the greatest coach of all-time, and he is well known for his ability to vastly improve players that have struggled elsewhere.
Fultz would not immediately start for the Spurs, although Popovich and his coaching staff would work with the youngster in training while giving him minutes from the bench. The youngster's role in the team would naturally increase as the Spurs became more satisfied with his game, and he would most likely become a starter within two years.
It is already a young Spurs squad, and Fultz may eventually become the best of the bunch. The Spurs should be able to agree on a deal with the 76ers, as the team has some spare parts that could be traded, in addition to a number of low draft picks.