Sixers: How Markelle Fultz selection affects current role players

Feb 9, 2017; Boulder, CO, USA; Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz (20) before the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2017; Boulder, CO, USA; Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz (20) before the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

With Markelle Fultz being the known selection come Thursday, how does this affect the Sixers’ role players?

Adding an expected star to a young roster sends an impactful sound-wave across the entire roster. Adding one to the Sixers roster, who already boasts two such prospects, and now the roster falls into place clearer than it was just two weeks ago. The impact a third young star has on developing role players sometimes goes hidden, but the long-term affects will bring in great success.

So, how will Markelle Fultz affect the rest of the Sixers roster? The team now sees a lineup that boasts four quality players in Fultz, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, and Joel Embiid. There are obvious positive impacts in adding a star guard to a versatile lineup, but to truly appreciate the affect a promising player has, looking to the bench will put in perspective just how important a marquee name is.

Dario Saric

Saric might be impacted most by this pick. The Sixers were teetering with the possibility of selecting forwards such as Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, or Jonathan Isaac before the trade for the top pick. Those three forwards would have undoubtedly place Saric as the sixth man, working with a questionable talent of floor generals.

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This Fultz selection, however, could place Saric into the first unit in a dynamic offensive lineup. Saric becoming the third outside option will prove to be effective, and the potential in the transition game is too salivating not to dream about. Saric has the talent to be in the starting lineup, but the way the roster is built he still could be in the second unit.

And being in a second unit with Fultz (assuming he’s staggered with Simmons), will allow him to play with better talent, as well as not taking over the scoring load off the bench. Fultz-Saric in a second unit has the potential to give the Sixers something they haven’t seen in the past few seasons; effective play from the bench.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

Luwawu-Cabarrot was slated to see a big minutes increase in the case that the Sixers didn’t land a  quality guard in the offseason. He’ll earn more minutes, but will still be coming off the bench as the second or third wing player. May seem odd, but this is a positive.

Luwawu-Cabarrot saw great success in development in just one season, bouncing up and down from Philadelphia to Delaware. Still raw, but he has the ability to develop into a key role player. This selection allows him to develop at his own pace, and could pay dividends to his ceiling in the long run.

Richaun Holmes

Holmes heads into the season as the Sixers’ most viable big man option off the bench. His play style has fit Brett Brown’s offense so well, that he has undoubtedly surpassed Jahlil Okafor in the team’s big man rankings. Adding Markelle Fultz to the team will bring a decent perimeter defender, taking away some pressure for Holmes to pounce on help defense.

Holmes seemed to mesh well with Simmons in Summer League, and while Fultz isn’t quite the passer the 2016 top pick is, he still has great vision especially while driving. This will give Holmes easy dump-off options, seeing a boost in his counting stats.

Jahlil Okafor

When you talk about Jahlil Okafor and what will make him improve, the easiest answer is elevated talent. Fultz is the top young talent in this draft class, and his ability from the outside should help give Okafor some space to work down low.

Defensively, same positives will come to Okafor as Holmes. Fultz will be able to stay in front of most second unit guards, decreasing the need for down-low help defense ever so slightly.

The hope is that Okafor can find chemistry with Fultz, and their relationship lights a flame in the once highly-touted big man.

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Adding Fultz just sends a wave of positivity across the roster. And while it could spell the end of Gerald Henderson, and the decreased role of Jerryd Bayless, his success with the the rest of the young core will elevate the play of the bench, and allow them to focus on staying within their abilities.