According to multiple reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers offered Kyle Korver and a protected draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Markelle Fultz. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, Fultz is no longer part of the 76ers’ long-term plans.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported that the Cavs inquired about Fultz and proposed the 37-year-old sharpshooting guard/forward Korver in trade discussions. Korver and Fultz have nearly the same salaries, meaning the players can be traded for one another straight-up.
The Cavs covet the 20-year-old Fultz, as Amico Hoops reported on Sunday. After the 76ers acquired Jimmy Butler, it was clear there was no room for Fultz in their lineup. Fultz, whose shooting woes have been well-documented, cannot play next to Ben Simmons, the reigning Rookie of the Year and franchise cornerstone who also has yet to develop an outside shot.
The 76ers have centered their future on a Big Three of Joel Embiid, Simmons and Butler. They are willing to part ways with Fultz if it means bolstering this year’s roster (and ideally beyond). Korver would add much-needed shooting to the 76ers’ second-unit.
For the season, Fultz has posted per-game averages of 8.2 points and 3.1 assists. He is shooting a dreadful 42 percent from the field, a measly 29 percent from three-point territory and 56.8 percent from the free-throw line. Fultz’s young age and potential make him an attractive option for the rebuilding Cavs, in spite of his early career struggles.
Korver is an enticing trade asset because his $7.5 million salary for next season is non-guaranteed. If the 76ers were to acquire Korver, who spent the first four year of his career with Philadelphia, they could give him a trail run for the remainder of the year. They can let go of him after the year if things don’t work out and he is unable to help in their postseason run.
It's unclear exactly how far the talks went between Cleveland and Philadelphia, but the 76ers are listening to offers for Fultz, signaling his time in Philadelphia will end sooner rather than later.