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NBA Trade Rumors: Should the Philadelphia 76ers Pursue Deals for Markelle Fultz Now?

New report reveals that Fultz 'was available to be traded' recently

The Philadelphia 76ers' Markelle Fultz had a pretty rough rookie year, and that's putting things very mildly.

Fultz struggled on the floor — which he did to the tune of shooting a ghastly 40 percent from the field and 47 percent from the line, per Basketball Reference — and questions kept popping up about a possible injury.

Apart from that, at times last season, Fultz genuinely looked like he was uncomfortable on the court, which is not something anyone would want to see from a player taken first overall in the draft.

The 76ers have stuck with Fultz, and they remain committed to helping him regain the form that made him such a highly touted college prospect in the first place.

However, there's a recent report which hints that perhaps the 76ers are open to the possibility of trading Fultz and giving him a chance to start fresh somewhere else while they recoup what assets they can for him.

According to league sources spoken to by Philly.com's Keith Pompey, Fultz "was available to be traded" at some point.

The way the 76ers thrived last season and how little Fultz contributed to that cause could lead the franchise to think that they can gain more value from trading the 20-year-old guard, but unless they can get a true superstar player in return for a trade package including Fultz, holding on to their first overall pick in 2017 is not such a bad idea.

It's worth remembering that Fultz was seen as a truly special prospect in the pre-draft process last year, with noted analysts from NBADraft.net and The Ringer even mentioning offensive dynamo James Harden as a possible comparison for him.

That talent did not just disappear over the course of one admittedly awful season. Maybe Fultz isn't as good of a prospect as he was previously thought to be, but it's hard to imagine him not being able to turn into a useful player at the very least.

As bad as last season was for Fultz, the 76ers shouldn't just be open to taking whatever they can get for him. Fultz is still someone who has a chance to carve out a successful career in the league, and the 76ers should give him that opportunity.

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