Philadelphia 76ers: Does Philly have to choose between Simmons, Fultz?

NBA Trade Rumors Philadelphia 76ers Markelle Fultz (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
NBA Trade Rumors Philadelphia 76ers Markelle Fultz (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Remember smoking rook shooter Antonio Blakeney of the Chicago Bulls under Ben Simmons’ shadow in college at LSU?

Markelle Fultz might be in the same situation right now with his team, and will have a really hard time developing if the Philadelphia 76ers’ scoring game at the guard spot revolves around Simmons for the team’s future core.

Simmons and Fultz are the team’s top picks in two of the last three years, and are extremely talented. If you check the video below, The 6-foot-4 Fultz is the more explosive player at the scoring point guard position. He is an athletic attacking point guard who also plays tremendous help defense in the paint.

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Unfortunately, an injury slowed Fultz down last season and the emergence of Ben Simmons as the mismatch point forward as a playmaker, creating two-man attacking situations in the paint, might pave the way for a different starting line-up moving forward.

Fultz played in only 14 games with a 7.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists per game average. Simmons played in 81 games, in his official rookie season, and put up 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists.

In the Sixers’ plays where the 6-foot-10 Simmons appears as the emerging dominant future Sixers star, you will notice that Fultz is relegated to the background, waiting for a kick-out pass.  While in situations where Markelle is the attacking guard, the smaller dynamite playmaker simply dominates slower defenders and he can drive to the paint almost at will, reminding us of a rookie Derrick Rose.

Furkan Korkmaz, in his own right, a very strong Euro-scoring dude looks like the best fit as the Sixers’ wing player who can catch-and-shoot or launch walk up 3’s playing alongside Markelle Fultz.

The other backcourt partner who complements Fultz would be veteran NBA shooter, J.J. Reddick.

Robert Covington might be the better fit alongside Ben Simmons in the interim because he doesn’t need to have the ball in his hands to get his scoring going. Simmons is so strong in mismatch plays because he can soar to the rim in backdoor plays and create his own shots.

It might boil down to whether the Sixers front office decides on whether they want Fultz to be their ace in the hole or whether they go with the taller Simmons.

Both players have experiences injuries that have slowed them down, and it may be a necessary thing to keep both players and alternate a five-player combination built around Simmons for his mismatch advantages, as well as one built around Fultz for his explosive attacking game.

In either situation, Fultz fits better around a defensive team with kick-out targets for open shots, because he attacks the rim. Simmons dominates with a two or three-man game with him as the taller and mobile player creating mismatches cutting to the rim and Euro-stepping around defenders for the hoop.

Both players can also shoot the ball from long range, but Fultz should still be the better lights-out scoring machine.

As a fan of explosive scoring guards, I would place my chips on Markelle Fultz and maybe use Ben Simmons as any kind of trade bait.

But it looks more like Simmons is the man to stay for the Sixers and the team’s giving him the reins of their playmaking spot may eventually slow down Fultz development as any kind of potential star if his on-ball touches are limited and he has to adjust to Simmons’ game by sitting at the corners waiting for catch-and-shoot opportunities.

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Who would you choose as the future of the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons or Markelle Fultz?