Friday, January 27 2023

Looking back at the 2017 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers made a big move with the rival Boston Celtics to move up to the No. 1 pick, and they selected Markelle Fultz out of Washington. The expectation was Fultz would join Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to form a Big Three.

Instead, Fultz suffered a rash of injuries ,and he played a grand total of 33 games across two seasons for the Sixers before he was traded to the Orlando Magic at the deadline in 2019. With the Magic, he has begun to find his footing, but again, he has been hit with multiple injuries that are holding him back.

In a redraft of 2017 performed by Bleacher Report, the Sixers take Jayson Tatum with the first pick with Fultz sliding to the 19th pick which belonged to the Atlanta Hawks.

B/R on the Tatum pick for the Sixers:

Tatum is coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game. Over his last three postseason appearances, he’s made two conference finals and averaged 26.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 3.0 threes, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 38.5 percent from three.

Those absurd numbers are proof that Tatum is already far more than just a No. 1 scorer. What gives him a chance to compete for MVPs, though, is his rapid ascent to elite defense.

One has to wonder how the Sixers would have looked with Tatum joining Embiid and Simmons rather than Fultz, but, alas, Tatum is with the Celtics and Boston is a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference after coming off an appearance in the NBA Finals.

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports

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