Markelle Fultz predicts 76ers will make playoffs in his rookie season
When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for the first overall pick a few days before the draft, everybody assumed they’d select Markelle Fultz. Despite his team’s struggles at Washington, Fultz dazzled fans and scouts alike with his complete skill set, and eventually he became the unanimous top prospect in college basketball.
Had Boston kept the pick and taken Fultz, he would’ve joined a crowded backcourt with Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, and Avery Bradley. In Philly, he’ll get the keys to the car on day one, joining a young core that has NBA fans buzzing with excitement.
It’s been awhile since there’s been this level of intrigue for the Sixers. After reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2012, the franchise has missed the postseason five straight years. They hit rock bottom in 2015-16, winning just 10 games while racking up 72 losses. Over the last four years, they’re a combined 75-253.
This past season was different, though. When Joel Embiid was on the court, everything clicked behind his glimpse of super-stardom. Doubters of the “Process” got a glimpse of what it just might yield.
Now, with a (hopefully) healthy Ben Simmons and Fultz added to the fold, getting back to the playoffs for the first time in six years doesn’t feel like it’s out of the question.
Markelle agrees. In fact, he predicted it himself.
From ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“I am serious when I say that,” Fultz said at his introductory news conference while sitting under the franchise’s three championship banners at the Sixers’ practice facility. “That is not just me talking because I am a player. I really think that we can be a [playoff team].”
Embiid has embraced his nickname, “The Process.” If Fultz’ prediction comes true and Philly returns to the postseason in 2018, he should receive a nickname of his own: “The Result.”