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June 10, 2017

What they’re saying: The Sixers should try to move up for Markelle Fultz

Early Friday morning, an unexpected bit of NBA news popped up on Twitter. According to the Sacramento Bee, projected top overall pick Markelle Fultz will meet with the Sacramento Kings:

This obviously set off a bunch of rumors and speculation, because Fultz has only met with Boston so far. This makes sense, as the Celtics hold the top pick. What doesn’t make sense, at least on the surface, is Fultz meeting with the Kings. There is no way he will drop to No. 5.

The Kings do have the 5th and 10th picks, though, and Liberty Ballers’ Kyle Neubeck is wondering if the Celtics would consider moving back if an extra asset would help them make a trade for a star (Jimmy Butler) without parting with some of their better assets:

All parties in a Chicago-Boston-Philly deal could get something they want. The Bulls could begin a total rebuild and stockpile picks over the next few years, the Celtics get the star player they want to compete now, and the Sixers get the top pick in the draft. It’s not perfect—the Bulls really shouldn’t make any deal with Boston without getting No. 1 back—but if they haven’t already, the Sixers should be on the phone and trying to make it happen.

That leaves the Sixers, who also have good assets (way better than the Kings, actually). Neubeck writes that the Sixers should at least inquire about trading for the top overall pick:

Even if it’s unrealistic, the Sixers may never have an opportunity like this again. There’s a clear No. 1 talent in the draft, he’s the best possible fit for the team, and the team with the top selection is in a position where they might not be inclined to continue building slowly. A hefty price to move up shouldn’t deter them from trying to go get Markelle Fultz.

My guess is that Fultz still ends up in Boston, but he certainly be pretty fine playing next to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Sixers news and coverage at PhillyVoice

1.    Draft scenarios one and two: How about the Sixers potentially trading back to the No. 6 pick and picking up a young scoring wing? And how far back in the lottery would we be comfortable trading back to in general?

2.    Workout notes: The Sixers brought in some draft prospects on Wednesday, including one potential second-round sleeper that could bring back some of that #OregonBias back to Philly.

3.    Draft speculation: A look at how the latest NBA Draft and free agency news and rumors affect the Sixers, including our good ol’ buddy Lonzo Ball.

Other Sixers news, notes and analysis from around the web

Notes from the Jordan Bell, Tyler Dorsey, Thomas Bryant draft workout: Derek Bodner

Good stuff from Mr. Bodner or Jordan Bell and some other prospects that the Sixers welcomed in to Camden:

That lack of a jump shot might make him a tough fit sharing time in a frontcourt with Ben Simmons, but if you have confidence he’ll be able to make continued progress in his jumper, Bell absolutely has a role to fill in the NBA with his defensive versatility and efficient offensive role. I think he’s worth an early 2nd round gamble to see if that jumper can continue to come around.

Steve Vasturia stays cool under pressure on the biggest stage of his life: Bob Cooney, Philadelphia Daily News

Good story on the South Jersey product, who got to wake up in his own bed in Medford and work out for the Sixers, the team he grew up rooting for:

"I realize the NBA is searching for players with specific skill sets, and that's where Steve probably won't stand out," said Mike Brey, Vasturia's coach at Notre Dame. "But there is a reason he had to play 38 minutes a game for me since his sophomore season, and that's because when he's on the court, the five offensive players are better and when he's on the court, the five defensive players are better.

From the Process to the Promised Land? Dick Weiss, Seth’s Draft House

The legendary Hoops Weiss chimes in on what the Sixers should do with the third pick in the 2017 NBA Draft:

Jackson is an exceptional two-way player who would be an excellent complement to Simmons’ passing skills in transition. He has already showcased a huge upside as a slasher and supplementary playmaker on offense. He needs to put on weight but has shown the ability to use his long arms to get into the passing lanes and anticipates well as an on-the-ball and team defender who can guard four different positions. Jackson seems like a perfect fit for the NBA because of his versatility and athleticism and the perfect fit for Brett Brown’s style of creating offense out of defense and Embiid’s ability to block shots to create opportunities in transition.

A Potential Three-Way Deal for Players and Prospects: A. Sherrod Blakely, CSN New England

This trade ends up netting the top overall pick and Markelle Fultz, and while the Sixers would be giving a good player and a great asset, I disagree with the writer pretty strongly here:

But if I’m Philly . . .  there’s no way in hell I would even consider doing this deal. As good as Markelle Fultz will be someday and as valuable as I believe Crowder is to winning games, the Sixers would be giving up way too much in this deal. Saric will be a top-3 vote-getter in the rookie of the Year race this season. And with Joel Embiid’s far-from-certain health status, there’s no way the Sixers would part with the one healthy big man they have who produces consistently. Okafor would be a nice addition, but he would definitely have to be part of a bigger trade package if it means parting ways with the top overall pick in this year’s draft.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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