Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 12.1
Following proposed trades to the New Orleans Pelicans and Detroit Pistons, we bring the #FreeLinsanity march to Philadelphia. The 76ers tanked, rebuilt, and are now fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a talented roster led by two All-Stars in Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid as well as last season's Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons. After trading for Butler, the 29-year-old embodiment of volatility, Philadelphia has reached the win-now stage of their process and needs to do whatever possible to prime their core trio for a playoff push. With Butler and Embiid complaining about their roles within the offense and the bench's lack of scoring and defense, veteran playmaker Jeremy Lin and proven contributor Taurean Prince could be a perfect fit. A 35% three-point shooter, Lin brings a new playmaking option in the pick-and-roll (since 125 games into his career, Simmons still has not hit a three) while Prince brings athleticism, some floor-spacing, and defensive tenacity.
Unlike the 6ers, the Atlanta Hawks are at the start of their rebuild and underutilizing Jeremy Lin during his career's renaissance. While Taurean Prince fits with Atlanta's timeline and has put together a great season, shooting 44% from the field and 38% from three, his potential seems limited since he has averaged just 14 points per game despite playing 29 minutes per game over the past two seasons. Uninterested in playing Lin and possibly ready to move on from Prince for a player with more upside, Markelle Fultz could be a tremendous, albeit risky acquisition for Atlanta. Before being drafted #1 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, the 20-year-old Fultz averaged 23 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block per game in college on 48% shooting from the field and 41% from three. Suffering from some mysterious mental or physical ailments, Fultz has only played 33 games in the NBA and represents the peak of a boom/bust prospect. While Philadelphia needs to win now and would be immediately bolstered by Lin and Prince, Atlanta's timeline permits them to trade away serviceability for a chance at super stardom.