Sixer Draft Files: Markelle Fultz is in a tier by himself

The Sixers, for the second year in a row - this time via trade - had the top choice in the draft, and again, for the second year in a row, the choice was clear.

Life is funny sometimes. In May, I was compiling a list of prospects to study in preparation for write-ups I was going to do on players the Sixers could potentially take with the third pick in the draft, almost as if I accepted the fact that the Sixers didn't get the first overall pick and in turn, had no chance of getting who I thought was easily the best player in the draft.  

The first overall pick has only been traded three times since the 1980 season (four if you really want to count Andrew Wiggins who was traded two months after being drafted in 2014) but little did I know at that point last month that the Sixers were even thinking about trading the third pick to the Boston Celtics in the days leading up to the draft to move up to number one to take Markelle Fultz.

It didn't take long for scouts, writers, and other coaches to see that Fultz was the best prospect in a deep and talented draft. Very few have made cases for players like Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, or even Lonzo Ball as the top player in the class, players who all have high upside but have flaws of varying degrees that could stop them from reaching their potential. Some of it, in my opinion, were people just trying to be the draft hipster and not go with the consensus, while some people actually believed it, but to me, it wasn't all that debatable.

Markelle Fultz was in a tier by himself and not only was he the best player, he was also the best fit for the Sixers, which makes sense that they would trade up to draft him. There were other interesting moves the team made during the draft, trading back into the first round to draft and stash a 7'2 Latvian center at number 25, as multiple teams tried to pry away the other Latvian big that is currently rotting away in New York's Bermuda Triangle, drafting Jonah Bolden at number 36, and passing on Semi Ojeleye, who went to Boston the very next pick, making me really sad, trading away the 39th and 46th picks after actually drafting guards I also really liked and drafting a Frenchman at number 50. But, of course, the biggest move, and probably the most predictable, was drafting Fultz, and it's easy to see why.

Statline: 23.2 PPG/5.9 APG/5.7 RPG - 2P% = 50.2/3P% = 41.3/FT% = 65%

Three Level Scoring

There are very few holes in Fultz's offensive skill-set. He is a legitimate three level scorer and scored at an efficient rate despite having really bad teammates around him, and a coach who ended up getting fired after the season. Fultz is a crafty finisher around the basket and has a number of moves to work his way to the rim, whether it be finishing through contact, contorting his body after exploding for a layup or just change of direction. Despite the poor ("poor" is really underselling how bad the team was) supporting cast, Fultz finished 57 percent of his shots at the rim in non-transition possessions, per, and overall finished 61.3 percent of his attempts at the rim. Fultz is good at attacking the paint already, but you can only imagine how much better he could be in the paint once he has NBA level talent and spacing around him.