By trading up for the number one pick in this year's draft, the Philadelphia 76ers have set themselves up for the next phase of their process.
After days of reports and rumors, it was announced that the Philadelphia 76ers would trade up to acquire the number one overall pick from the Boston Celtics. In giving up a present and future pick, the 76ers have brought forward The Process and taken another giant bite of the 'superstar' apple. The trade has cleared the way to draft consensus number one selection, Markelle Fultz.
Bringing in Fultz has boosted the 76ers roster in many ways. He is the point guard of the future that they need. With Australian do-it-all (but shoot) Ben Simmons in charge of a lot of the ball-handling duties for the 76ers, drafting a complimentary piece to play the point was going to be a struggle. Fultz fits that role perfectly. He will sit with Simmons and the mercurial Joel Embiid as the best young trio since Destiny's Child. To add to this, they will get either the Lakers pick next year or the Kings' pick the year after, depending on pick protections.
As an athlete, Fultz is smooth as the bottom of James Brown's shoes. His changes in speed and direction make him a devil to guard. Combined with his excellent frame for a guard, Fultz is physically a great fit in Philadelphia. Additionally, Fultz is an unselfish player who can play off the ball. This is something that is needed with Simmons needing the ball in his hands for a lot of possessions.
Having a player like Simmons is a double-edged sword. In a way, he more of a LeBron than a Kevin Durant. While Durant fits into the Warriors' system seamlessly, LeBron is the Cavaliers' system. While having a primary ball-handler in a power forward's body creates a great mismatch, his lack of shooting is a real problem. Finding players to compliment Simmons' game was always going to be a tricky proposition for Philadelphia. Their future recruiting will need to have Simmons in their thinking. The ideal point guard next to Simmons is someone who can be a secondary playmaker, and also play off the ball. Fultz does both of those things. So as they say "hand, meet glove". All this talk about Fultz's fit in Philly is before you even mentioning the main man for the 76ers, Joel Embiid.
The enigmatic Embiid is a basketball unicorn, not just because of his diverse skill set. You could also be convinced he is make-believe. If it wasn't for a 31 game stretch he put together this season, Embiid was merely an NBA myth. However, those 31 games evoked so much positivity that you can create a scenario that with Embiid, the 76ers are instantly relevant in the East. Embiid single-handedly changed Philly's defense and having another switchable perimeter defender in Fultz can further make the 76ers a defensive force.
With the addition of Fultz helping the offense and defense,, the 76ers have struck draft gold. The process is paying off. Their future is now.