NBA trade rumors: Siakam doesn't scare Kings, Kuzma asking price, Fultz on the market

  • Orlando is exploring the market for Markelle Fultz
  • Wizards want two first-round picks for Kyle Kuzma
  • Kings still want Pascal Siakam despite lack of commitment

Pascal Siakam, Harrison Barnes
Pascal Siakam, Harrison Barnes / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA trade rumors: Magic exploring market for Markelle Fultz

The Orlando Magic are "exploring the trade market" for Markelle Fultz and his expiring $17 million contract, per Marc Stein. A former No. 1 pick, Fultz has dealt with a difficult and often inexplicable string of injuries since his career began in 2017. The Magic acquired Fultz at the 2019 trade deadline.

Fultz has only appeared in eight games so far this season, averaging 8.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists on .448/.000/.400 splits in 23.5 minutes. Fultz started in all 60 appearances for Orlando last season, but the Magic's guard depth makes it difficult to chart Fultz's path forward with the franchise. His aversion to 3-point shots seriously hampers the offense.

Fultz looked more confident than ever beyond the arc in 2022-23, but that resulted in a 31.0 percent success rate on a mere 1.5 attempts per game. He hasn't made a single 3-pointer in the new season.

The dynamic three-level scoring guard Philadelphia selected first overall all those years ago is nowhere to be found. Fultz still has plenty of appeal, though. He covers a ton of ground defensively at 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan. On offense, his singular tempo and creativity as a playmaker can spearhead an offense in the right context. He pressures the rim, finishes with flair, and generates open 3-point looks for teammates.

In Orlando, unfortunately, spacing is at a premium. The Magic are shifting more ball-handling duties over to Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. Fultz can occupy the dunker's spot and operate as a cutter away from the ball, but his value is mostly tied to creating off the bounce. The Magic don't need Fultz's downhill penetration and passing, so much as they need a confident long-range bomber. The upstart Anthony Black and Jalen Suggs both take priority long-term, and Fultz's expiring contract is imminently tradeable.

In short, the Magic aren't going to re-sign Fultz, so there's every reason to squeeze whatever value remains out of his current deal. There's a decent chance Orlando can land an immediate fit upgrade while moving Fultz to a spot where his skill set is in higher demand.