Sixers set to acquire first overall pick, Markelle Fultz

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

With five days left before the 2017 NBA draft, Bryan Colangelo received his full-fledged membership card as a member of the Process, swinging the following deal that will change the trajectory of the Sixers franchise for at least the next decade.

Philadelphia will be receiving the first overall pick in next week’s draft in exchange for the third overall pick and one future first-rounder. The future pick will be the 2018 Lakers pick if that selection falls between 2-5, or if it lands at either 1 or 6-30, the 2019 Kings pick will be sent instead.

Now, Sam Hinkie deserves all the credit in the world for putting the franchise in the position to have the assets to swing this deal. As a result of his working the Kings like a speedbag in the pick swap trade and selling Michael Carter-Williams at the absolute peak of his value, Philadelphia essentially received the top pick in this draft for the fifth pick, MCW, Arturas Gudaitis, and Luka Mitrovic.

But ever the staunchest Hinkie supporter has to admit, Bryan Colangelo took that fully stocked cupboard and baked one heck of a cake. Only trading one future pick to move up from 3 to 1 is a terrific bargain. Early rumors were that it was multiple picks, and people generally assumed that someone like Robert Covington or Dario Saric would be thrown into any trade if this sort of deal was to go down. The added protection on the Lakers pick, allowing the Sixers to still capitalize on grabbing an uber-hyped prospect like Luka Doncic or Michael Porter Jr. if LA wins the lottery next year, is a cherry on top.

Even though the Lakers pick at 2-5 or the Kings pick wherever it falls could yield a very valuable player, that’s a price you pay 10 out of 10 times to grab a player like Markelle Fultz. He’s the kind of guy you go through all the losing for in the first place to have a chance to grab. Fultz has no glaring weaknesses. He can create his own shot, pass, shoot from the outside, play on or off the ball, and has good size and wingspan for his position. The former Washington Husky has superstar potential, is an ideal fit next to Ben Simmons, and fits the timeline perfectly to grow alongside Simmons, Joel Embiid, and the rest of the Sixers young core which Colangelo kept entirely intact.

The two teams have agreed to the terms of the deal and it is expected to be finalized during a league call Monday. That day and the official drafting of Fultz next Thursday will represent a true turning point in the history of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise. Embiid, Simmons, and Fultz form a perfectly complementary young core, with as much upside and potential as any such group in the NBA. Health permitting, we’ll be watching this trio over the next decade, not just competing for a 7th or 8th seed, but actually fighting to be in the conversation among the short list of true contenders year in and year out.

So again, thank you Sam Hinkie for putting the team in a position for this day to come. And Bryan Colangelo, welcome to the warm embrace of Sixers nation, and thank you for bringing this deal home. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for actual basketball games to get underway. I couldn’t be in greater anticipation to see these young guys hit the floor together. Now and forever, Trust the Process.

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