According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Philadelphia 76ers will officially make Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid entirely off-limits in trade discussions.
The 76ers have engaged in talks with the Spurs on a potential Kawhi Leonard trade.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 1, 2018
So far, Philly has kept Fultz, Embiid and Simmons off limits in talks, team sources tell @wojespn. pic.twitter.com/PsA3hNMQaw
It was virtually common knowledge that Simmons and Embiid would be excluded from trade discussions, but it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Fultz will not be included under any circumstances considering the magnitude of the stars they could be interested in acquiring.
It seems like a smart move to not include Fultz in trade talks, considering his incredible potential and sheer youth that he exhibits. There is plenty of time for him to develop as a star in the NBA. His trade value is at all-time lows right now considering he hardly played in his rookie season, has plenty of question marks around him, and many are already calling him a bust, warranted or not.
The fact of the matter is that if the Sixers were to trade away Fultz for the likes of Kawhi Leonard, they could be trading away a future All-Star for a guy who very well could abandon the franchise after a single season.
This decision fits in with Brett Brown's trend of planning for the long-term rather than short-term, which we saw in the draft.
This should give fans hope for the future, especially considering the seemingly high level of progress Fultz has shown this off-season working with NBA trainer Drew Hanlen.
It will be exciting to see what kind of wheeling and dealing the Sixers do during free agency, but it is good to know these activities won't come at the cost of the first overall pick in the draft a year ago.