By Theodore N. Beitchman
We will never know who pulled the trigger on the Sixers decision in June 2017 to trade up from No. 3 overall to No. 1 overall in order to draft Markelle Fultz.
As in most things, those who know aren’t saying.
And those who are saying really don’t know.
Was it coach Brett Brown?
Or Sixers big boss Bryan Colangelo?
My guess is it was Colangelo, a power-hungry sociopath who lost his job not because of his Twitter burner account, but because of the bile he or his wife spread on that Twitter burner account.
He hated everybody and wasn’t afraid to say so.
Unlike Donald Trump, who levels everybody and isn’t afraid to attach his name.
I think it was Colangelo because, like Trump, he never listened to anyone.
Brown announced in 2016 that Ben Simmons would be his point guard, but that would have to wait a year because of Benny’s foot surgery.
Fultz was marketed as a combo guard, but anyone who stayed up late to watch him at Washington on the Pac-12 network could see that Fultz needed the ball in his hands to be effective.
Colangelo either didn’t hear what Brown said or doubted Simmons’ ability to play the point.
In either event, he chose Fultz to prove he had basketball smarts.
The rest is history:
Fultz got hurt and was a two-season non-event in Philly.
New Sixers general manager Elton Brand got tired of waiting for Fultz to get healthy enough to play as the playoff drive has begun.
So he traded the second-year guard and he actually got a player and a No. 1 and a No. 2.
Who could blame him?
And let’s not quibble about what the Sixers got in return.
Fultz — who missed 68 games last season and only played 14 this season with shoulder woes that kept him from shooting effectively — had virtually no value.
But Brand found a sucker in Orlando, and they were willing to part with Jonathon Simmons and the picks.
Have to admit I have never seen Simmons play, but I’ll take him.
After the trade for Tobias Harris cost a bunch of retreads and bench players — Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and Landrey Shamet — the Sixers bench was almost non-existent.
Fultz had settled into a nice bench role as the back-up point guard and solid defender before his latest physical issues.
So I am glad to have Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott and James Ennis to go along with Simmons on the bench.
And my guess is that Brand isn’t done trading, with a shooting guard the likeliest aim on a bought-out contract.
No matter how well these Sixers go in the playoffs — and I think they can go to the NBA Finals — Elton Brand is a breath of fresh air.
Especially after the sociopathic Bryan Colangelo’s tenure.