The Sixers‘ options with Markelle Fultz are limited, Chris Mannix of SI.com writes in the wake of this week’s news that the former No. 1 overall pick is dealing with shoulder and wrist injuries. After a report suggested Fultz would prefer a change of scenery, agent Raymond Brothers quickly denied that he had ever given any indication to the 76ers that his client wants to be dealt. Even if Philadelphia wanted to make a deal, it would be difficult to extract much value for the young point guard at this point.
According to Mannix, one rival executive suggested to him that the Sixers ought to make a call to the Suns – who badly need a point guard – to discuss a swap centered around Fultz and Trevor Ariza. Ariza would be a good fit for a Sixers team that could use another three-and-D wing, but he’s a 33-year-old veteran on a one-year deal — he wouldn’t exactly be a substantial return for a player who was drafted first overall just 17 months ago.
In Mannix’s view, the best path for the Sixers and Fultz, once he’s healthy, might be a G League assignment. A stint with the Delaware Blue Coats would give the 20-year-old an opportunity to run an offense and regain his confidence in a low-pressure environment. It would be a risk – if Fultz struggles in the G League, his value would decline even further – but Mannix contends that it makes more sense than having the second-year guard sit on the bench in Philadelphia.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said today that he only wants to play in the NBA until his early-to-mid-30s, tweets Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com. Irving is still only 26 years old, so it’s probably worth checking back in and gauging his stance again a few years from now.
- Sixers rookie forward Jonah Bolden recently sustained a small cortical crack in the proximal fibula of his right leg during a G League game, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com. Bolden is expected to be sidelined for the time being, and will be re-evaluated next Thursday.
- Following the Raptors‘ game on Friday against Washington, assistant coach Sergio Scariolo will head over to Europe to coach Spain for a pair of 2019 World Cup qualifying games next week, as Doug Smith of The Toronto Star details. It’s a rare opportunity for an NBA assistant like Scariolo, who said the Raptors approved the time off when he initially signed his contract during the offseason. “Without even myself working one hour on the floor, they had already given me this permission and I am really thankful,” Scariolo said.