Can it just get here already?
With each passing minute since the 76ers apparently stripped Boston of its shorts in a trade made official Monday, the impact of what will likely yield Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick has grown smaller and smaller.
Oh, 2017 NBA Draft, you fickle bee …
Not for nothing, but ever since Bryan Colangelo and Co. reportedly “schooled” master wheeler-dealer Danny Ainge, the buzz has been elsewhere. It’s like the acquisition started depreciating the moment it touched down, much like a new vehicle immediately after purchase.
Extenuating factors haven’t exactly helped, either.
Not with rumors of LeBron James bolting Cleveland being reported, essentially, as fact, right along with actual facts such as Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Kristaps Porzingis being on the trading block, and, oh, yeah, best “white men CAN jump (and ball)” talent Gordon Hayward being available via free agency.
With Boston a possible landing spot for one, or two, of them.
Ugh. So much for the latest steal of the century.
Thing is, there was/is nothing inherently wrong with what the Sixers did. Moving up to get a guy they want, hey, should be applauded. It’s a trend that, remembering Eagles big cheese Howie Roseman’s moves to get Carson Wentz at No. 2 in the 2016 NFL Draft, just might be taking hold in Philly.
About damn time …
But, what are we talking about here with Fultz? Just what are the Sixers getting?
We’re not talking the undisputed, hands-down, everyone-loves top talent available as the clock ticks down to Thursday night’s draft. Even to those beholden to hyperbolic bluster in differentiating players, Fultz, at best, is a nothing more than a consensus favorite … almost in the cautiously optimistic vein.
As far as the Sixers go, he brings one critical element to their roster that is critically lacking: shooting ability. From the floor, mind you. He’s somewhere between Wilt for his career and LeBron circa 2017 from the foul line – which is a red flag, if anything, when considering how much Fultz may have the ball in his hands.
Make no mistake, though, his outside marksmanship would be of utmost value to the team. They have more than enough players will to shoot it from distance, with even big men Dario Saric and Joel Embiid cocked and loaded from beyond the arc just about every other trip down the floor.
But someone who can really stroke it? No. That’s been sorely missed among the layers of brick bestowed upon the backboard in recent seasons, right along with all the losses.
The concern here, though, is that the Sixers’ brass is fooled into thinking that acquiring Fultz takes care of the team’s shooting woes. It’s potentially a nice start to fixing the problem.
As the recently completed NBA Finals showed, you need more than one sharpshooter on your squad to do some real damage. Sometimes more than two.
With that, you’d hope the Sixers would join the likes of those in the market for Butler, Hayward et al. Not even saying they have to go as big time. In fact, they’d be better off focusing on guys such as J.J. Redick, whose one recognizable talent is being able to bury the outsider jumper.
The guy, who, like Hayward, is a free agent, shoots 41.5 percent from “3” for his career, and has gone off for 44.0 combined the last four seasons with the L.A. Clippers while transforming himself into a solid, all-around NBA player.
For everyone who pooh-poohs Kevin Love, now that he’s being mentioned as a trade chip, keep in mind he just buried 3s at a 41.2 clip in the postseason … and he’s only 28 years old.
Point being to all this. Sure, celebrate the trade, but the Sixers need to realize they still have issues with their make-up even with adding Fultz. That is, if they have the intent of contending for a title in the coming years.