NBA Draft 2017: 76ers take Markelle Fultz at No. 1

The Philadelphia 76ers make it official, drafting Markelle Fultz to pair with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

The Philadelphia 76ers have selected Washington Huskies point guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Sixers set in motion the selection of Fultz earlier this week when they traded the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft as well as a future first rounder to the Boston Celtics in exchange for No. 1 overall pick.

Fultz adds to an already impressive collection of young talent on the Philadelphia roster, including Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid. Without question, the 76ers now have one of the best young cores in the league. The 6-foot-5 guard should pair well with Simmons and Embiid, the other potential superstars on the roster. His ability to run pick-and-roll with either player will be crucial as will his off ball shooting that can help space the floor when the Sixers let Simmons run the show.

The other important factor here is that Philadelphia now gets an extra layer of safety in its search for a franchise player. Obviously, the Sixers know that Embiid could be that guy, but his injury history produces questions about his ability to stay on the floor. Simmons, meanwhile, is an excellent prospect who has yet to play a game and has his own flaws. Fultz gives the team another chance to find the player that was targeted when Sam Hinkie started The Process several years ago.

The 19-year old is definitely capable. Dating back to 1992-93, he is the only high major freshman in college basketball to averaged at least 23.0 points, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game over the course of a season.

Fultz’s skill set is built to succeed in the modern NBA. He’s already shown he’s capable of hitting scheme-changing jump shots off the dribble, his ball-handling is some of the best in the draft class and he’s an elite finisher around the rim. He’s even already adopted plenty of moves from the NBA’s best point guards.

It will be several months until we get to see Fultz play in an actual NBA game, but the hype is already there in Philadelphia for understandable reasons. The 76ers just landed their point guard and Fultz, Simmons and Embiid could run the NBA in the near future.

Check out The Sixer Sense for more Philadelphia 76ers NBA Draft analysis.