Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Magic reportedly acquire Markelle Fultz from 76ers for Jonathon Simmons, multiple picks

Magic reportedly acquire Markelle Fultz from 76ers for Jonathon Simmons, multiple picks

The NBA trade deadline was Thursday, and perhaps the biggest news was a non-trade: The New Orleans Pelicans held on to Anthony Davis but dealt Nikola Mirotic to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to trade former #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Jonathon Simmons, a top-20 protected first round pick in 2020 (via OKC) and a second-round pick (via Cleveland). Fultz was the only player in the country to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

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. Still getting a veteran wing defender, a first round pick and second round pick is the best scenario for the Sixers.

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While surrendering Fultz will understandably be tough to swallow for some, it was a necessary move for both the present and future-he was not likely to help their playoff rotation and needs on-court development time to resuscitate his career. If Fultz is able to recover some of the form the 76ers anticipated when the drafted him, he would conceivably be the point guard of the future.

Although it surely hurts for Philly to admit defeat and move on from Fultz, for whom they surrendered an additional first to move up two spots and draft, this is a good return based on the way his value had bottomed out. Simmons has shot 22.9 percent from downtown for the season and 31.2 percent for his career.

As we highlighted here, J. Simmons is one of the more inspirational stories in the National Basketball Association, an undrafted free agent out of Houston who had to pay $150 to even get a try out for the Spurs' G-League affiliate in Austin. The protected first-rounder will come from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Orlando can point out to its fans that it traded for a onetime No. 1 draft pick.

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