Philadelphia 76ers: The ‘Magical’ Markelle Fultz-saga is finally over

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

After a less than Magical tenure in the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia 76ers have traded Markelle Fultz to Orlando for Jonathon Simmons and picks.

It’s over; it’s finally over.

After literally months of waiting, anticipation, and disappointment, the Philadelphia 76ers have finally traded Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic for shooting guard Jonathon Simmons, an Oklahoma City top-20 protected 2020 first round pick and a future second-round pick.

Wow, I’m not going to lie, that’s a pretty solid haul.

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Now granted, the move doesn’t really bring a whole lot of star power back to the City of Brotherly Love, but really could we have asked for a better haul for a player who hasn’t suited up since mid-November?

Earlier this year, all the way back in January, rumor had it that the 76ers ownership group wanted to get back ‘at least a first-round pick‘ to consider trading Fultz, and in this move, they got that, and oh so much more.

As we highlighted here, J. Simmons is one of the more inspirational stories in the NBA, 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. Since then, he’s transformed into a pretty darn good NBA player, averaging 8.5 points in about 20 minutes of action a night over his four-year career.

And more importantly for the Philadelphia 76ers, he’s a guard sized guard who can cover opposing guards.


That’s right after trading their best reserve guard (Landry Shamet) and bringing back four different frontcourt players over the last two days, the 76ers have finally acquired a guard who could help to add some stability to the backcourt moving forward.

And best of all, he’s on a great contract.

When I wrote about my idea Fultz trade scenario, a swap for Antonio Blakeney initially suggested by Bill Simmons; I hypothesized that the team should not only attempt to add a player who fits their win-now mode but also has a team friendly contract moving forward, and Markelle’s almost $10 million a year deal would have hampered their potential moves in July.

Simmons’ deal is much more tenable.

As things presently stand, the 29-year-old guard is in the middle of a 3-year, $20 million deal that will pay him $5.7 million in 2019-20, but only $1 million of that is guaranteed (via Spotrac).

That is invaluable.

If Simmons meshes well with the other Simmons and company, then the Sixers can retain the 6-foot-6 defensive winger for half the price of Fultz’s contract, but if he’s underwhelming, the team can simply cash out for a minor nominal fee and reinvest that money into a more useful piece, like J.J. Redick, Tobias Harris, or Jimmy Butler, as they will all be in line for new deals.

Fultz, on the other hand, will have an opportunity to revitalize his career down in Orlando, a team desperate for a point guard that has virtually no chance of making the playoffs this season, even after coming out to a hot start.

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

Will he ever recapture his college form and look even remotely close to the player Bryan Colangelo envisioned when he traded two first-round picks to select him first overall? Who knows, but that’s no longer the Philadelphia 76ers problem. After a less than lackluster tenure, the Markelle Fultz tenure is finally over. Onward and upward.