NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Markelle Fultz, Bradley Beal and More

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 16: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball against the Utah Jazz on November 16, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Markelle Fultz may be having his share of issues in Philadelphia, but there’s at least one team still interested in obtaining his services.

The Cleveland Cavaliers reached out to the Philadelphia 76ers and inquired about the embattled point guard’s availability, reported Sam Amico of Amico Hoops on Sunday. 

On Saturday, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the former No. 1 draft pick was no longer in the Sixers' plans moving forward.

He also inferred that the Sixers could get a late first-round pick in exchange for Fultz or trade for a player with an expiring contract.

That news is likely what prompted the Cavs to make the call about a potential deal.

A deal makes sense on both sides because Philadelphia, which needs someone with a reliable outside shot, could get a veteran sharpshooter like Kyle Korver, while Cleveland has time to work with Fultz since they are in rebuild mode.

There's no indication that a Fultz-for-Korver deal was discussed or that any inroads were made during the call.

Fultz' status with the team is in question due to his recent struggles on the court, as well as the cloak of mystery around his health.

The latest development in the Fultz saga happened last week when his agent, Raymond Brothers, let Philadelphia know that his client would be seeking another medical opinion from a shoulder specialist in  New York. Brothers also relayed that he wouldn't play or practice until then.

The news caught head coach Brett Brown by surprise.

"This news about his shoulder, it did catch me off guard," Brown told Pompey. "But if it's that real, that he needs to go seek further consultation, then we support him. In my eyes, it's not complicated. That's what it is and we'll support him."

On top of that news, The Athletic reported that Fultz was also nursing a previously unknown injury in his right wrist.

Sources also told The Athletic that Fultz preferred a trade to another team where he'd get a fresh start.

Brothers denied that report.

"I have given no indication to [general manager] Elton Brand or anyone else that Markelle would prefer to be traded," Brothers told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "My focus is to get Markelle healthy. End of story."

Fultz averaged 8.2 points and 3.1 assists while starting 15 of 19 games this season, so the fact that he's blaming his struggles on health seems suspicious to the Sixers front office.

"He said he feels good," Brand told Pompey. "There's nothing that we saw medically that didn't allow him to play."

Philadelphia started the season in full support of Fultz and he seemed to respond positively, playing within himself, trying to improve.

Things fell apart, though, during the Sixers' 124-114 win over the Miami Heat on Nov. 12.

With Philly down 46-44, Fultz stepped to the free throw line and double pumped his attempt.

Four days later, he followed that up with another free throw quirk, this time juggling the ball before shooting it.

Social media was not kind in response.

To cap it off, Fultz, who lost his starting job to J.J. Redick, was mocked by Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper, who mimicked the juggling free throw after scoring a touchdown on Sunday.

Fultz brushed off Cooper's jab, but no one in the Sixers organization is laughing.

Bradley Beal Wants Out of Washington?

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards celebrates after scoring against the Houston Rockets in the second half at Capital One Arena on November 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agre
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Bradley Beal's days as a member of the Washington Wizards may be numbered if rumors of his request for a trade are true.

The All-Star guard allegedly wants out of the nation's capital "pronto," reported NBA writer Chris Sheridan on Monday.

After the Wizards defeated the Houston Rockets 135-131 on Monday night, he commented on the rumors.

"That's nonsense," he told NBA TV's Dennis Scott. "I heard about that before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on, I come in and work every day until otherwise. This is where I wanna be and I'm going to continue to show up, put in work and get wins for us." 

Beal wasn't the only one trying to put out the fire.

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, denied the report, too.

"That is absolutely not true," Bartelstein told the Washington Post's Candace Buckner. The only sources that would know Brad thinking’s are Brad and myself. And Brad’s focus is 100% on helping the #Wizards play consistent, winning basketball.”

The Beal rumor comes on the heels of previous rumors that Washington was interested in trading Beal and/or John Wall to improve the team.

The Charlotte Hornets was the first team to inquire about Beal in a trade, but there's no indication that any deal is forthcoming.

The Wizards made Beal and Wall available in trade talks after the two blew up in practice two weeks ago.

Wall cursed out head coach Scott Brooks and Beal threw pointed comments at team president Ernie Grunfeld.

Even then, Beal was diplomatic about the possibility of being moved.

"Ernie has a job, Ted has a job, the organization has a job and they're going to do whatever it takes to make sure that the organization is going in the direction that they need to," Beal told reporters last week. "All we can do is continue to work hard every day and continue to put in work until something changes.

"It is what it is. I'm not gonna say I'm mad or frustrated or angry about it. All I can do is control what I can control and that's totally out of my control. I'll allow Ernie and my agent to deal with that. All I do is come in here and work my tail off every day and make sure I try to get better and try to win ball games."

While Washington is on a two-game winning streak, they are still 8-12 on the season and are reeling from dysfunction.

If Beal does in fact want to stay in D.C., they'll have to work on relationships in the locker room and build on the recent success.

As the old saying goes, winning cures everything.

Sixers Sticking with T.J. McConnell

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 23: T.J. McConnell #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agre
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With the Markelle Fultz era with the Philadelphia 76ers now in jeopardy, the focus has shifted to keeping T.J. McConnell.

The Sixers have stopped taking calls about McConnell’s availability in trades, reported ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to that report, Philly will rely on McConnell to fill the backup point guard role vacated by Fultz.

Should Fultz return to the team after getting examined by a shoulder specialist in New York, he will have to earn minutes off the bench behind McConnell.

McConnell, averaging 3.9 points and 2.4 assists per game through 16 games, can be a free agent after this season.

Despite being a major cog off the Sixers' bench in the playoffs last season, the 26-year-old playmaker has struggled in the early going, shooting only 14.3 percent from behind the arc.