As NBA trade rumors swirl around the NBA, the Miami Heat have reportedly looked into a different situation. This would be the one with Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz, who’s dealing with a shoulder injury which has left him sidelined for the bulk of the season.
Fultz, who was diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, has yet to return to the court since November 19. Rumblings on both sides of the debate about whetherthe Sixers could move him ahead of the trade deadline have come to light. By doing so, they could potentially free up money for a max contract in the upcoming offseason, as The Athletic’s Danny Leroux previously detailed.
With trade rumors lingering, Sixers analyst Jon Johnson reported that the team has re-engaged the interest in Fultz ahead of the deadline. Beyond that, Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson reports the Heat are a team interested in the former No. 1 overall pick.
With Miami being a potential landing spot, they have a few players which could provide much-needed depth for the Sixers and would be able to create a number of packages. We’re going to take a look at the best potential deals that could make sense for both sides.
*Deals created with the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.
3 Team Deal With Sixers, Heat & Pelicans
*Sixers send a second-round pick to Pelicans
I opted to start things off by bringing a third team into the mix. It’d be interesting to see how the New Orleans Pelicans view this deal. While there’s been chatter that they are interested in moving Julius Randle and/or Nikola Mirotic for picks, they’d trade both here while adding a draft pick and also Goran Dragic.
Whether or not the Heat would be willing to make this deal is an obvious question, but picking up Julius Randle could be big for their interior. Beyond that, Justise Winslow has impressed for the most part while running to show, so I think this deal could make sense for both teams.
As far as the Sixers side goes, adding a stretch-four in Nikola Mirotic addresses two key needs, one of which is outside shooting. Wayne Ellington also provides depth and bench scoring as well, pointing to this being a smart deal for Philly.
Heat Trade for Markelle Fultz, Sixers Add Depth & Shooting
*Heat send a second-round pick to Sixers
Unfortunately for the Sixers, the trade value of Fultz has hit a major decline. After playing in just 14 games as a rookie and averaging 7.1 points with 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds, things haven’t improved much in year two. After a full offseason of attempting to fix his jump shot, Fultz has shot just 41.9 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from deep through 19 games.
The Heat seem interested in the obvious upside of Fultz, but it’s tough to envision Philadelphia landing a first-round pick in any deal for him. But what they could get here are two expiring deals who have the potential to step in and help immediately.
Ellington provides the outside shooting that’s desperately needed on the Sixers’ second unit. Brett Brown’s team lacks depth in a big way, and Ellington would provide scoring for the second unit. Along with that, Rodney McGruder is having the best season of his career and would also see decent minutes.
Through the first 47 games, McGruder has averaged 8.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and shot 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. While his game is still a bit of a work in progress, he’s flashed upside and would be a good addition to the group. Along with those two, the Heat could add a little more incentive with a second-round pick.
In turn, the Sixers get the cap space in the 2019 offseason they’re looking for while also adding immediate help to the second unit.