The Orlando Magic have made a big move right up against the trade deadline, striking a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire point guard Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The Magic will be sending Jonathon Simmons, a protected first-round pick and a second-round pick to the Sixers in exchange for Fultz.
The Magic are sending Jonathan Simmons, a first-round and a second-round pick to the Sixers, per sources. https://t.co/f724l2eSVS— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
The first-round pick is protected and arrives via the Oklahoma City Thunder, while the second-rounder comes via Cleveland.
Fultz has famously struggled with injuries and confidence since joining the league. His problematic shot mechanics commanded a lot of attention since he entered the NBA, and he's been sitting out the past few months for the 76ers as he addresses his health. The team ultimately decided to trade him and get locked in for a run at their NBA Finals appearance since 2000.
Full deal:— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 7, 2019
Orlando gets Markelle Fultz
Philadelphia gets Jonathon Simmons, protected future OKC 1st rounder and a CLE 2nd rounder.
With Fultz finally out of Philadelphia, the 76ers will have fewer distractions going forward. The player himself, on the other hand, will be given a fresh start on a team with far lower expectations and a far dimmer media spotlight. Hopefully he can sort himself out and give his NBA career a chance to being in earnest.
Source: Orlando will exercise patience with Markelle Fultz's return to play. The Magic are taking the long-view with Fultz potentially being the starting guard to pair with the rest of their young core. Don't be surprised if Fultz doesn't return to play this season.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 7, 2019
In 2018, Fultz averaged 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists across 22.5 minutes per game. Simmons averaged 6.9 points. 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 20.6 minutes. Ideally, this deal ends up being at least a modest win for both teams.