Updated: 7:54 p.m.
The Markelle Fultz odyssey is over in Philadelphia.
The Sixers on Thursday traded the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft to the Orlando Magic for Jonathon Simmons, a 2020 protected first-round pick from Oklahoma City, and a 2019 second-round selection, the most favorable from Cleveland, Houston or Orlando.
Simmons is averaging 6.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists and should supplement the Sixers' depth on the wing.
Wednesday’s trade for Tobias Harris signified general manager Elton Brand’s intent to contend for a title now (see story). It did not appear likely Fultz would return to the court soon and contribute to the team’s immediate success.
Fultz played a total of 33 regular-season games for the Sixers, averaging 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists. His tenure with the Sixers was marred by injury and a serious hitch in his shot. Fultz was sidelined for most of his rookie season with a diagnosis of scapular muscle imbalance, then returned for the team’s final 10 regular-season games and the Sixers’ first three playoff contests.
Nov. 19, 2018, was his last game with the Sixers, a 119-114 win over the Suns in which Fultz played just seven first-half minutes. At the advice of his agent Raymond Brothers, Fultz then visited a series of specialists and eventually received a new diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome. Brothers and Fultz have said they expect the second-year guard will play again this season, but the Sixers never made a definitive statement on when they believed Fultz would return.
The best night of Fultz’s career came in the regular-season finale last year vs. the Bucks, when he became the first teenager in NBA history to record a triple-double.
The 20-year-old will now attempt to return to full health and rediscover the shot that helped make him the No. 1 selection out of the University of Washington in Orlando.
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