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While the Philadelphia 76ers have considered the option of keeping and working with Markelle Fultz, it appears as if the organization is now ready to move on from the former No. 1 overall draft pick, according to a report from Dave Early of Liberty Ballers.
The Sixers drafted Fultz overall in 2017, and his two NBA seasons have been marred by shoulder injury and lack of productivity.
Both the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic have expressed an interest in trading for Fultz, Early reported Wednesday. (Rod Beard of the Detroit News and Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press also reported on the Pistons’ interest.)
Fultz, 20, is currently out indefinitely after being diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve compression disorder.
He last appeared in a game Nov. 19, when he played seven minutes against the Phoenix Suns. Fultz did not appear in the second half of that game, with Sixers coach Brett Brown opting to instead use reserve point guard T.J. McConnell.
After a decent start to the season, Fultz scored in double figures just twice in 11 games during November. He was held scoreless in his most recent appearance vs. the Suns.
Early cited inconsistent play from point guard Reggie Jackson and an injury to backup Ish Smith as possible reasons for the Pistons’ interest in Fultz.
“As for Orlando, it is no secret they too want to improve their guard spot,” Early wrote. “With a renewed emphasis on player development … they’re confident they now have a group, run by coach Steve Clifford, where high-upside, athletic, and defensively capable players can reach their full potential. This environment makes the former first overall pick appealing to them.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns have also reportedly explored the idea of a Fultz trade, though it is not known if either team remains interested.
“The possibility of a three-team trade exists as well,” Early wrote. “The Phoenix Suns were recently linked via rumor to the former first overall pick, but have recently cooled to the idea, we were told.”
Fultz is 6-foot-4 and averaged 7.1 points in just 14 games as a rookie. He is averaging 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists this season.