Philadelphia 76ers shouldn’t want Markelle Fultz back

Markelle Fultz (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Markelle Fultz (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers should be happy to see a former player finally figuring it out, but it doesn’t mean they should want him back with the 76ers.

It’s fair to say that during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, Markelle Fultz was essentially a bust as the former first overall pick. However, it appears now that he’s showing signs of real talent with the Orlando Magic. Despite his impressive play in Orlando, the Sixers shouldn’t have sellers remorse and want their former point guard back.

Before getting traded at the NBA Trade Deadline last season, Fultz hadn’t been able to be the shooting combo guard that the 76ers hoped for when they drafted him. Due to an unusually shoulder injury called thoracic outlet syndrome, Fultz had essentially lost his ability to shoot outside shots.

Considering that he was suppose to be the shot creator that would make the duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid work, this was the worse thing that could have happened to him and Philly. It appeared that he lost confidence in his playing ability as a result of this lingering issue.

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It was clear that the Sixers had moved on as they made trades for both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris before eventually dealing Fultz to Orlando. During the offseason, I wrote how the 76ers won that trade. However, I was wrong as that certainly isn’t the case now.

Fultz quickly won the starting point guard role with the Magic this season. He’s started 37 of the 42 games he’s played in this season. On the year, he’s averaging 12.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 steals, while making 46.3 percent of his field goals and 25.7 percent of his 3-pointers.

Fultz’s game is the most well rounded it’s ever been in the NBA. He even lead the Magic in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 21-point, 11-rebound and 10-assist triple-double, the second of his career.

Despite the impressive showing and overall good play with the Magic this year, Philly made the right call in trading him and shouldn’t regret moving on from him. His overall play would be nice one the Sixers, but his inability to hit an outside shot consistently would still be a major issue for the 76ers.

As Stuart London of The Sixers Sense pointed out in a previous article, Fultz still doesn’t fit on this roster. Basically Philly needs every player not named Embiid or Simmons to be able to shoot and make 3-pointers at a high rate. While there’s no doubt that Fultz has made a giant leap in terms of overall production, he’s outside shot still hasn’t returned to what it was during his college days.

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Staying with the Sixers would have kept pressure on him to meet the expectations of being a former top pick. Being on the Magic takes a good portion of that pressure off and allows him room to grow, while also developing at his own rate. Having him on the roster now wouldn’t fix the spacing issues that the 76ers have.

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There’s no denying that Fultz is having a coming out season and it would be nice to see Fultz do this with the Philadelphia 76ers. However, fans nor the Sixers themselves should want their former top pick back as he still doesn’t fix the major issues that plague the 76ers roster. It’s great to see Fultz finally finding some success, but it’s for the best that he’s doing it on another team.