The Suns are among the teams with some level of interest in Sixers point guard Markelle Fultz, a source tells Keith Pompey of Philly.com. The Cavaliers were also eyeing Fultz, though it’s not clear whether they remain interested now that they’ve agreed to trade Kyle Korver in another deal.
Although Fultz’s trade value has slipped precipitously in the last year and a half, teams would still be interested in acquiring him under the right circumstances, according to Pompey, who suggests that the 20-year-old’s camp would need to be truthful potential suitors. A team with interest in Fultz doesn’t want to be told that his shoulder and wrist are bothering him if his problems are actually mental, a source tells Pompey — in other words, clubs would simply want to know what they’d be getting into.
According to Pompey, the Suns had interest in Fultz leading up to the 2017 draft, with their analytics people believing that his upside was substantial. However, Phoenix also had concerns about the young guard’s support system, Pompey adds.
If the Suns and Sixers were to engage in discussions on Fultz, Philadelphia would likely target veteran forward Trevor Ariza, whose outside shooting and perimeter defense would make him an ideal fit in the 76ers’ lineup.
Ariza is on a one-year deal, so getting something in return for him could appeal to the Suns, who won’t be contenders this season and have been seeking a point guard for months. Ariza’s contract would also be favorable for the Sixers, who could significantly increase their projected cap room for 2019 by moving Fultz for a player on an expiring deal.
The salaries for Ariza ($15MM) and Fultz ($8.4MM) don’t quite match up, but adding – for instance – Justin Patton‘s expiring contract ($2.7MM) would make a deal legal.