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NBA Daily: The Early Trade Watch in Washington and Philly

While the normal NBA transactions windows are still weeks away, there is a lot of noise coming out of Philadelphia and Washington that is worth watching.

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Not Ready To Trade, But Getting There

There has been a lot of trade talk lately, and while it’s about time for teams to start getting serious in trade talks, we’re still a ways away from normal deal windows.

There are a couple of key things to know before we dig into the two prevailing trade situations.

The first point is that free agents signed during the summer become trade-eligible on December 15th. Don’t expect a flurry of deals on the 15th, it almost never happens that way, but that is the date when a lot of locked up roster spots become trade options.

The second point is that any player that re-signed with his existing team and received more than a 15 percent raise is further trade restricted until January 15th. These are some of the bigger dollar guys.

Its also important to point out that the annual G-League Showcase is almost a month earlier and it’s a large gathering of team personnel all in one place, so the typical trade charter from the Showcase will drop earlier.

Lastly, another factor in this year’s trade cycle is that a projected 49 percent of the NBA will be eligible for free agency in July. That is going to impact the trade cycle fairly aggressively, especially for teams with eyes toward big spending next summer.

So, with those notes out of the way, let’s dig into the trade scuttle.

Markelle Is Done In Philly

Sixers sophomore guard Markelle Fultz has sought second opinions on both his shoulder and his wrist. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how odd and erratic his career has gone. His camp is trying to get to the bottom of why he is struggling physically, and their trust in the Sixers has waned, according to sources close to the situation.

The talk of a trade demand from Fultz is overstated, at least according to his camp. There is a frustration with the situation, mainly because Fultz is 33 games into his NBA career and looking more and more like a bust of a pick than a player that was supposed to be the safest pick in the draft.

The belief around the 76ers is that no one currently calling the shots in Philly feels any loyalty to him, and with Jimmy Butler in town, there is a reality to the long-term – Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Butler are the long-term future of the team, and Fultz is not in the picture, especially not with a big future contract.

Other teams have been sniffing around the Fultz situation, with the Cleveland Cavaliers believed to have dangled a deal built around Kyle Korver and a protected draft pick.

The Cavs are just one of several teams to have reached out on Fultz, but it does not appear the 76ers are as eager to make a change as maybe Fultz’s camp may want, at least not yet.

League sources who have inquired about Fultz said recently they didn’t think Fultz would be on the 76ers roster past the trade deadline. We’ll see if anything changes on that front, but it seems more likely than not that Fultz’s days as a 76er may be coming to an end.

Time to Break Up The Wizards

It wasn’t that long ago that the Washington Wizards were something of the envy of other teams – two promising young guards that could score at will, surrounded by shooters and bigs that can finish around the basket.

Boy have things changed in Washington. Despite a nice win last night, the Wizards are still a dumpster fire situation with agents and business managers telling anyone who will listen that this team has to be broken up.

Management in Washington has kicked the tires on changes. But, despite the prevailing thought that one of the Wall/Beal tandem would have to go, the Wizards were trying to pry away a third player to make it all work, even at the expense of some of the roster depth or future draft flexibility.

At this point, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in the Wizards next tier players, especially ones like Otto Porter, who is still owed a ton (three years and more than $81.75 million).

There have been reports that Beal has asked to be traded. However, both Beal himself and his agency, Priority Sports, have denied that any demands have been made.

League sources view Beal as the easiest player to move for value. However, it doesn’t seem like the Wizards are open to that just yet.

As things stand today, the Wizards are 8-12, and just a game-and-a-half outside of the playoff picture after winning two straight games.

The sense around the league is the Wizards want to see how the group responds to the know public adversity – will they come together, or will they crumble?

That is the question that will ultimately answer the question of whether this Wizards team needs to be blown up before the trade deadline.

While these are hardly the only situations worth watching, these are, however, the loudest situations right now. With some 72 days remaining until the February 7th NBA Trade Deadline, there is a lot of time remaining before anything has to happen.

While it’s not out of the question that one of these situations comes to a head that forces a move, it’s far more likely that both of these situations play out for several more weeks, especially with the normal transactions windows coming open in the coming weeks.

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Steve Kyler is the Editor and Publisher of Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA and basketball for the last 17 seasons.

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