Markelle Fultz in a recent appearance on The Players Tribune: 

That’s a fair response. People are gonna write misleading headlines for this one, but it’s a pragmatic answer from Markelle.

Fultz is now in his mid-twenties and played 60 games for Orlando this past season in a zero-pressure environment. He put up 14 points per game while throwing 5.7 assists and grabbing four rebounds. That’s on a 29 minutes per-game average, so he’s certainly come a long way from his Sixers days while not exactly knocking on the MVP door.

That’s why it’s impossible to project what the Sixers would look like if they had stuck with Fultz instead of jettisoning him for next to nothing back in 2019. Plus, we all have to remember that there wasn’t any kind of recovery timetable at all. Orlando GM John Hammond even went on the record saying that “we have no idea” when Fultz would even be ready to play. The Sixers, we thought, were in a championship window and needed to move on instead of eating an eight-figure cap hit for a guy who was a total question mark. It was one of those things that ultimately made sense for both sides.

The sad thing, of course, is that in 2023 Fultz is currently the best player in a group that includes Ben Simmons, Carson Wentz, Nolan Patrick, and Mickey Moniak, so go figure. Sad, but true, as James Hetfield once said.