Re-Grading the 76ers' Last 5 First-Round Picks

With the 2024 NBA Draft around the corner, it's a great time to take a look at the Philadelphia 76ers' last five first-round selections.
Tyrese Maxey has, easily, been the 76ers' best first-round draft pick in the last few years.
Tyrese Maxey has, easily, been the 76ers' best first-round draft pick in the last few years. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Markelle Fultz, PG/SG (2017 R1, P1): D

Since 1964, the 76ers have held the No. 1 selection at the NBA Draft four times with the most recent instance being 2017. After going 28-54 during the regular season, Philadelphia used the first pick to draft Markelle Fultz out of Washington.

It was hard not to be excited about Fultz's potential at the time. He was named first-team All-American after a strong campaign with the Huskies that saw him lead the Pac-12 in points (23.2) while adding 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks.

But instead of thriving under the Philly spotlight, Fultz struggled to fit in. A series of injuries limited him to just 33 games (15 starts) across his first two NBA seasons. He failed to make the most out of any playing time he saw, frustrating the fanbase as he averaged just 7.7 points on .414/.267/.534 splits. Even if he was still young, that's not the type of play you want to see from a first-overall pick.

Two seasons was all the 76ers needed to know that they had seen enough. Fultz was shipped off to the Orlando Magic in February 2019 for Jonathon Simmons and a pair of draft picks. Although it looked like the change of scenery was initially paying off, Fultz's development has stalled and it looks like he's going to be just another guy — especially if his injury woes continue.

While you can argue that Fultz is a better player than Shamet, he deserves the worst grade of the two. Fultz's lack of production would be easier to swallow if he was taken later in the draft, but the fact that he was the No. 1 pick makes the selection look much worse.