Bryan Colangelo Reportedly Overruled 76ers Execs About Drafting Markelle Fultz

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 13, 2018

FILE - In this May 11, 2018, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo speaks during a news conference at the NBA basketball team's practice facility in Camden, N.J. Colangelo is denying a report connecting the executive to Twitter accounts that criticized Sixers players Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, among other NBA figures. The accounts also took aim at former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and former Sixers players Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, according to a report by The Ringer. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Some executives with the Philadelphia 76ers didn't want Bryan Colangelo to draft Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick last year.         

Per The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the divide between Sixers executives and Colangelo started during Fultz's private workout with the team last June:

"It was a decision praised at the time, but after Fultz struggled in his workout with the Sixers last June, league sources say some Sixers front office members suggested that despite making the trade, the team should have taken a second look at Tatum or Lonzo Ball. But the idea was shot down by Colangelo, according to sources."

The 76ers traded with the Boston Celtics to secure the top pick in the 2017 NBA draft. 

Most analysts regarded Fultz as the top prospect in last year's class, including B/R's Jonathan Wasserman

"With Fultz's unbeatable numbers—he was the only player in 25 years to average at least 20 points, five assists and five rebounds and shoot 40 percent from three—along with the tools and athleticism to back them up, the losses at Washington can't factor into the assessment on his long-term potential," Wasserman wrote.

A shoulder injury limited Fultz to only 14 regular-season games during his rookie campaign. The 20-year-old averaged 7.1 points and 3.8 assists per game during those outings, but he didn't appear in Philadelphia's last seven playoff games against the Miami Heat and Celtics.

The Celtics wound up drafting Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick they received from Philadelphia. The former Duke star is one of three finalists for the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 13.9 points and five rebounds in 80 games.

Colangelo resigned as president of the 76ers on June 7 after an independent investigation revealed his wife shared private information and criticized players on the team and opposing teams on secret Twitter accounts.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.