D’Angelo Russell begs the Philadelphia 76ers for a trade in monster game

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

In their second meeting in a month at the Barcley Center, D’Angelo Russell begged the Philadelphia 76ers to trade for him with a 38-point performance.

About a week ago I hypothesized that the Philadelphia 76ers should trade Markelle Fultz to the Brooklyn Nets for D’Angelo Russell in a move that could potentially advance both teams along with their current timelines, and it’s pretty quickly become a heavily contested conversation among both team’s respective fan bases.

Now granted, in the short period of time since that article was initially published, a lot has happened in the ‘Markelle Fultz-saga‘, like Fultz’s commitment to the organization being called into question, Fultz removing himself from the team to deal with a shoulder injury, and the team reportedly internally moving on from Markelle as part of their future, but through it all, it seems like every day new comments appear on the initial post either for or against it.

One of the people who apparently took the contents of said article to heart? None other than Russell himself, who went off against the Sixers in a game that just screamed ‘trade me’.

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Though Fultz often plays Philly hard, as he is a former teammate of both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, this game was different. In a 6 pm showdown at the Barcley Center, Russell put up a season-high 38 point game, along with eight assists, while knocking down two of his six attempted 3-point shots.

With neither Simmons nor T.J. McConnell able to shut down the 6-foot-5 combo guard from Ohio State, Russel ran rampant all over the 76ers defense, finishing out the game with the most points of any player on the court.

And more importantly, Russell highlighted everything that makes him such a perfect fit in the City of Brotherly Love.

Known mostly for his offensive abilities, Russell delivered arguably his most complete game of the season in an ultimately losing effort, helping to hold the Sixers’ guards to only 48 points vs. 74 for the Nets.

And after the game, he made sure to shake hands with his former Montverde Academy prep teammates.

Now granted, there’s no way of knowing exatly how Russell would fit in alongside the Sixers’ current collection of players, outside of Simmons and Embiid of course, but Russell’s offensive versatility, position versatility, and tireless motor could be an absolute godsend on a team that’s struggled mightily to win the backcourt battle with any sort of consistency.

Would the Sixers still be able to swap Fultz for Russell straight up like I initially hypothesized? Probably not after everything that’s gone on recently, but with Fultz no longer a part of the team’s future, why not cash in on his potential and flip a package of the former Husky first overall pick, and maybe a collection of other picks (either a protected first or some future seconds) to Brooklyn for an immediate contributor who could give the team the best starting five in the Eastern Conference (yes, I said it).

Furthermore, by trading for Russell, the team will be able to secure his Bird Rights and lock him into a long-term contract even if it took the team over the salary cap ceiling, a major get if they also decide to re-sign Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick.

Elton Brand, if you are reading this, why not give Brooklyn a call and reunite Russell with his former teammates? While he may only be the fourth or fifth best player on the Sixers behind Simmons, Butler, and Joel Embiid, trading Fultz for a player like Russell could be the difference between another Eastern Conference Semifinals out and a legitimate chance to compete for a spot in the NBA Championships.

Next. Markelle Fultz is the antitheses of a ‘Philly Tuff’ athlete. dark

Right now, the Philadelphia 76ers are a combo guard away from being the best team in the East, and D’Angelo Russell can and should be that guy.