Sixers in Odd Position with Markelle Fultz
There seems to be two distinct sides when it comes to former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz.
The get rid of him now, I'll drive him to the airport side.
The don't just give him away, see if he can work through his issues side.
There is no question that Fultz has talent. He was the No. 1 overall pick for a reason. Teams around the league scouted him and saw his ability and some GM in the league who witnessed his skills up close before the 2017 draft are going to be willing to kick the tires and try to get what they saw of him in college out of him.
But what are they going to be willing to give up to get that opportunity.
The Sixers are in a weird situation.
The guy who drafted Fultz, Bryan Colangelo, is no longer here. They gave up a first round pick to Boston to move up to take him, and there is no guarantee he will ever regain the form that we saw from him at Washington.
However, he has flashed brilliance at times.
His ability to take the ball to the basket with explosion still exists. His pull-up jumper, and his elbow jumper still exists. His on-ball defense is solid, and good enough to be able to have a role in the league.
What doesn't seem to exists is his ability to shoot the three-point shot, free throws and the ability to play with the extreme confidence he displayed in college.
Remember Fultz shot 41% from 3-point range in college on 126 attempts. He also attempted 439 shots from the field, meaning he pretty much had the green light to shoot whenever he wanted, from where ever he wanted.
But so far its been a bad fit, and the Sixers have essentially moved on without him.
Maybe he is just an immature kid, who isn't ready for the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick, maybe he doesn't understand the impact of what being the No. 1 overall picks means or maybe he just doesn't love playing, despite his amazing skill-set.
When teams look at Fultz, someone will be interested in his potential, but what are the Sixers willing to take in return?
"My sense is that they feel they would struggle to get a first-round pick," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on the Ryen Russillo podcast. "They might have been able to get one a month ago, or two months ago. But while he is away from the team, while he is getting checked out, the uncertainty now is murkier around the league, about how much of this is physical, how much of this is mental, probably more of a combination - but nobody really knows."
Fults is due $9 million next season, which is a decent cut into a team payroll, making things more difficult.
All the teams are doing their research, and trying to find out what might be wrong with Fultz. At 20-years old, teams will take a look and try to see if they can get the talent out of him and make him some sort of a reclamation project.
At this point with the Sixers playing well without Fultz, they aren't quite ready yet to give up on the former No. 1 overall pick and are hoping to wait this out.
"There plan right now is assuming he comes back from these appointments, that they will try to put him back in the role that he was in," Woj says.
He also mentions that while Fultz's value might be at a low-point, so many teams in the league need a point guard, either a good back up or spot starter type, that either T.J. McConnell or Fultz will have teams calling around the league or their services.
In fact, Woj mentioned that teams had offered a first-round pick for McConnell, but with Fultz out the Sixers were not willing to pull the trigger on a deal involving him right now.