PG Washington Markelle Fultz 6’5” 190 6’10” wingspan
Player Comparison: Stephon Marbury/Gilbert Arenas
Why here: A clear affixation with Fultz made way for a blockbuster trade where the Sixers moved up and declared Fultz their guy. One player in to the mock draft- one selection picked correctly. Fultz is a perfect fit for this team, his skills mesh well with the strengths and weaknesses that are already present on the roster. The biggest need was offensive creation and shooting, two staples of Fultz’ game. He plays well off ball, something that will be common as they plan on using Simmons as the primary PG.
Strengths: Fultz has an uncanny ability to get whichever shot he desires on command. His length and creativity with the ball paired with his slo-mo to explode-and-go style make him a conundrum for defenses to handle. He shows streaky 3-point range, and while many consider this a weakness, it is promising to see bursts of hot streaks at a young age from a shooter with confidence and above average mechanics. Streaky shooting at age 19 means controlled hot handedness by age 23 (especially under Steven’s coaching). He shows adept finishing ability and acrobatics with both hands at the rim, and although he often shies away from contact with bigs, it speaks more towards his arsenal of floaters, runners, and up-fake short-range shots than his fear of body contact. He loves dunking on guards. Plays well in pick and roll/pop sets.
His handles in the paint are reminiscent of Jamal Crawford’s 2k layup package. Sly spin moves, tricky behind the back dribbles and switches, and seemingly unnecessary but effective head and ball fakes. Filthy euro and body control. His end-to-end speed isn’t mind blowing, but his shiftiness and agility in terms of changing directions and speeds in traffic and transition is impressive.
Has high IQ in terms of teammate location and passing ability… often overcompensates for teammate ability with difficult passes, a skill that will translate well to the NBA where players are faster, smarter, and have better hands. Strong passer out of double teams… passes well with both hands… long distance passes and alleys off the dribble seem effortless. Averaged close to six assists at Washington, which would have been closer to eight or nine if his teammates were remotely coherent.
His above average athleticism, length, and side-to-side agility make for a promising defensive player. Has quick hands. Plays above the rim defensively. Often takes risks with around the defender poke-outs and chase down blocks, but risks have proven to work in his favor more so than failure.
Weaknesses: Highlight hunter. Goes for unnecessary moves when more fundamental plays are available. Shows lapses in effort on both ends, but more so on D. Often defends with arms by side. Occasionally gets frustrated with teammates. Doesn’t rotate quickly with defensive shifts… gets burnt by quick dribblers.
Often tries to shoot himself out of slumps, rather then turning to other aspects of his game. Doesn’t turnover the ball frequently, but turnovers are often silly/ugly and can result in easy transition offense for opponents. Could improve use of body at the rim in terms of drawing fouls. Doesn’t shield ball against bigs as well as would be preferred. Draws fouls from ability not from IQ.
Outlook: Fultz is the most well rounded offensive prospect since Durant. He will be able to slide into most systems and perform immediately, although his effectiveness on the defensive end will take time. Shows signs of a prolific scorer and creator for teammates. Competitiveness isn’t an issue. Coach and trainer testimonies mark him as one always looking to better himself. Will bode well if paired with shooters and good touch passing swings/bigs, Saric and Covington fit this bill. He recently said he wants to win MVP and rookie of the year.
Random Prediction: 7x All-Star (2019-2023, 2025-2026). Averages at least 20/5/5 for five seasons.