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Pistons Reportedly Interested In Trading For Markelle Fultz

Would the team be willing to give up another first-round pick?

December 13, 2018 - 5:47 pm

Reggie Jackson has been inconsistent. Ish Smith is hurt.

Could Markelle Fultz be the solution? 

The Pistons are interested in trading for the 2017 first overall pick, according to SB Nation and the Free Press. And the 76ers are reportedly ready to deal him, with Fultz battling through another injury. 

After playing in just 14 games as a rookie due to a shoulder issue, Fultz has missed the last 10 games with thoracic outlet syndrome and will be out at least a few more weeks. And even when he was healthy, his well-documented shooting struggles continued to plague him. 

Through 19 games this season, Fultz is averaging 8.2 points and 3.2 assists, while shooting just 29 percent from three and 57 percent from the line. He shot 41 percent from three and 65 percent from the line in his lone season at Washington. 

Flat out, his shot is broken. And the 76ers don't appear to believe they can fix it. Per SB Nation, "the prevailing opinion (within the team's brass) is that it would be better for everyone to simply move forward."

Could the Pistons be the team to revive him? Fultz certainly wouldn't come cheap, his struggles notwithstanding. He's still supremely talented and he's under contract at an affordable price through 2020-21 season with a club option for 2021-22. 

The 76ers would surely demand a first-round pick in return, just for starters. The Pistons aren't exactly in position to give one away after doing just that in last year's Blake Griffin trade. 

But if they believe they can unlock Fultz's potential, maybe it's worth the cost. 

Jackson, who doesn't have the burst he used to thanks to recurring knee problems, is a free agent after next season -- and a poor fit thus far in Dwane Casey's offense. And Smith, who's currently sidelined with a groin injury, is a free agent after this season. 

Per reports, the Magic and Suns are interested in trading for Fultz as well.