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76ers reportedly make deal for No. 1 pick in NBA Draft

The Philadelphia 76ers are either geniuses, or a franchise perpetually stuck in neutral with a foot ready to slam onto the gas pedal while a hand teeters on putting the engine in reverse.

At this point, it appears to be the latter, but the front office in the city of Brotherly Love is taking another stab at this whole “winning” thing by reportedly making a blockbuster deal. On Saturday night, David Aldridge of TNT reported that the 76ers would be trading their third-overall pick this year for the No. 1 overall selection, getting it from the Boston Celtics (who originally heisted it from the sad-sack Brooklyn Nets). In addition, Philadelphia will surrender either next year’s Los Angeles Lakers pick if it lands between Nos. 2-5. If not, the 76ers will fire over the Sacramento Kings’ pick in 2019, which they also own.

So what does it all mean? It means that Philadelphia is very likely to take Washington huskies point guard Markelle Fultz with the selection, pairing him in its backcourt with Ben Simmons, who was taken first-overall last year. Simmons did not play a single game due to injury, though, so we are still waiting to see if he can live up to his considerable hype coming out of LSU.

Fultz is universally considered the best player in a very good draft class, beating out the likes of Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball of Kansas and UCLA, respectively. If he turns out to be what many believe, he should ignite what has become one of the laughingstocks in all of professional sports.

The 76ers have not made the postseason in any of the last five seasons and won less than 20 games in three of those campaigns. Philadelphia has won just one playoff series since the end of the 2003 season, but it is the recent history that makes people visibly ill.

Since the 2013 NBA Draft, Philadelphia has taken a grand total of 19 players, including seven in the first round. Of those players, only Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes remain on the roster. The 76ers have seen Embiid turn into a star, but Simmons remains an injured unknown while Holmes appears to be a role player. Okafor has largely been an enigma, at times flashing talent and at others being a disappointment.

If Fultz can be the beginning of a turnaround for the 76ers, fantastic. At some juncture, Philadelphia needs to try for victories and stop worrying about how many high draft picks it can stockpile. A team is only as good as the decisions it makes, and to this point, the 76ers have wasted an awful lot of ammunition over the years.

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