Sixers take Fultz with top pick of youthful Draft

NBA Playoffs Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers

During the second round of the draft on Thursday, some fans at the Barclays Center made a decision to have a little fun by spoiling the news of a few picks.

Boston, the first team to trade the number one pick before or during the first round of the draft in 24 years, used the third overall pick to add small forward Jayson Tatum of Duke, one of the most polished scorers in college basketball.

It marks the fourth straight year the Blue Devils have produced a top-three pick.

CAMDEN, N.J. - While the notion of becoming the top overall pick had yet to sink in the morning after the National Basketball Association draft, Markelle Fultz didn't need much time to let Philadelphia know that he thinks the Sixers are now a playoff team.

Preserving flexibility for the Sixers to keep their star while also adding through free agency in the future should be a good enough reason for the team to be able to convince someone to take a front loaded contract.

Kevin Durant is fresh off a title with the Warriors. Fultz said a crispy chicken sandwich is his good-luck charm, so he was thrilled upon finding out via Google search that his new home has seven Chick-fil-As (including the one at the airport). "Once I heard my name called it was like God calling me". Fultz was late to his meeting with Philadelphia but was seen walking into the practice facility holding a meal from the fast food chain.

Last season, the 76ers held the top pick for the first time since drafting Hall of Famer Allen Iverson in 1996 and selected Ben Simmons.


It did not matter to the Sixers that Fultz is the first player from a losing team to go No. 1 since the Portland Trail Blazers took LaRue Martin out of Loyola (Ill.) in 1972. "I'm pretty sure (Simmons and Embiid) got the same objective and we're all going on the same page".

But the Sixers aren't counting on the Fultz-Simmons-Embiid core to simply entertain in 140-character bursts.

"That's the goal coming in this year", Fultz said Friday about turning the Process into result. While there are other basketball leagues around the world, it's important to remember that NBA economics are vastly different than the overseas game, as the highest-paid player in Europe, former Knicks legend Alexey Shved, makes a whopping $3.4 million. Fultz planned to go back to Maryland after his day in Philadelphia. Fultz was chosen first-team All-Pac-12. He continued to blossom at Washington. In his only college season at the University of Washington, he averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game. The pros to that are that the Sixers could wait to see if Embiid can make it through the season healthy but the market waits for no one.

There were murmurs ahead of the draft that the Lakers weren't as enamoured with Ball as everyone assumed, but when push came to shove, the Lakers gleefully scooped up a point guard prospect who has the potential to be a special player. The Sixers roster is about full, and neither of the four second-rounders may play for them next season.

Fultz fills both of those needs, but he does need to improve in several areas.

Ben Simmons, a 6-10 facilitator.

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