No surprise here.
The 76ers have traded Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons, a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 top-20 protected first-rounder, a league source confirmed. The second-rounder will be the most favorable among the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets and the Magic. The protected first-rounder will come from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Fultz, the former first-round pick, needs a fresh start on a team that will make him the starting point guard. The change of scenery could also help him overcome the stigma that comes with failing to live up to the lofty expectations of others.
The Sixers traded up two spots and gave up a future first-round pick to the Boston Celtics to select Fultz first overall in 2017.
Raymond Brothers, Fultz’s agent, announced on Dec. 4 that Fultz was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Brothers said the condition is the reason for Fultz’s shooting woes and that his client would remain sidelined at least three to six weeks. However, Fultz hasn’t played since Nov. 19.
Fultz has already been sidelined a total of 103 games in his NBA career dating back to last season.
He leaves the Sixers with career averages of 7.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists and 33 career games with 15 starts. The 20-year-old shot just 28.6 percent on three-pointers.
The Magic took the gamble because they are in desperate need of a point guard. Orlando can point out to its fans that it traded for a onetime No. 1 draft pick.
In Simmons, the Sixers get a fourth-year veteran who has averaged 8.5 points in 243 career games with 69 starts.