The Philadelphia 76ers did everything in their power to let you know they had a private workout with Markelle Fultz on Saturday. The team promoted it on social media, and even Joel Embiid was on board and in town to hype up the 19-year-old’s visit to Philly.
Just days ago a visit from Fultz seemed like fantasy. He initially turned down a workout and seemed headed for Boston until reports swirled on Friday that Philadelphia had taken a strong interest in the Washington standout. As trade talks continued, it was reported on Saturday that Fultz would work out for the team, and a trade may not happen until Monday. The team mentioned it on Twitter and even had the workout streaming on Periscope for a while on Saturday.
Fultz arrived to the facility wearing a black Sixers cap reporters said was given to him when he arrived.
That doesn’t mean all that much, though, as most players get team gear to wear during these workouts. Here’s Fultz in a Sixers shirt during the session.
Afterwards, Fultz spoke to the media. He was sure to say he’s willing to help whichever team he gets drafted by, despite all the signs pointing to the fact that he will play in Philadelphia.
Despite Fultz previously being very committed to playing for the Celtics, he said he would certainly fit into Philadelphia’s plans for their team.
Ben Simmons and Embiid were on hand for the 30-minute workout, and the Sixers account was ready to take a picture of what could be most of Philadelphia’s starting lineup come this fall.
Fultz was modest after the workout, telling the media he’s OK with whatever happens in the draft.
Fultz said he’s trying not to pay much attention to the trade talk.
“I’m truly blessed to be in this position,” Fultz said. “Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to taking my talents to wherever I go.”
If the deal goes down, the first four spots in the draft order would exactly mirror the first-four order from last year. Philadelphia would have the No. 1 pick, the Los Angeles Lakers would choose No. 2, Boston would go No. 3 and Phoenix has No. 4.
Embiid himself tweeted the picture the Sixers account sent out. Afterwards, Embiid followed Fultz on Instagram.
Earlier in the day, Fultz himself retweeted a picture Embiid took of him in front of his “locker” in the Sixers facility. So the two look close already. Fultz talked about his relationship with Embiid to the assembled media on Saturday night.
“He’s pretty funny,” Fultz said of Embiid, someone Fultz says he built a relationship with while in college. “I’m happy the players want me to come here.”
He even got a bit of Processing in himself on Saturday.
Seeing the potential lineup assemble itself in Philadelphia on Saturday suddenly made some in the league think twice about letting the Sixers snag the first overall pick in the draft, no matter what the cost.
Maybe the Process is working after all.