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CAMDEN, N.J. - Fit. It was all about the fit. When Markelle Fultz became an option for the Sixers, they couldn't say no and traded away the No. 3 pick and a future first-round pick to the Celtics to get their target.
The Sixers had remained tight-lipped on who they planned to take first overall. But once the expected happened and they chose Fultz, the team offered an overwhelming number of reasons why he was the best player for the future.
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Fultz saw it the same way, too.
1. "I'm just looking forward to going in there and giving it my all and hopefully changing the program around." - Fultz
2. "Basketball-wise, he brings to the table great athleticism. He is multi-talented in terms of his offensive skillset. He gets to the basket, he penetrates, he's elusive, he can handle the ball. He's what you call your prototypical combo guard." - Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo
3. "It's unbelievable, really ... I get a chance to take care of my family and I get to do something a lot of kids want to do." - Fultz
4. "The thing I realized is that there was no other player that I saw that was a better fit for [Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons] than Markelle for a variety of reasons. When you look at his ability to shoot, when you look at his ability to create on a catch-go or off a live ball, certainly in the early offense, that he can co-exist with Ben and Joel the easiest out of all the people." - Sixers head coach Brett Brown
5. "We're going to do whatever it takes to get us back to the playoffs and get us to a championship." - Fultz
6. "By adding a player of Markelle's caliber to our promising roster, we believe we're incredibly well-positioned for the future." - Sixers managing general partner Josh Harris
7. "It's a great opportunity and I'm very excited, really. Just the fans in Philly, how they back up their players and everything like that." - Fultz
8. "As a person and as a human being, you're talking about a young man that has displayed high character in every way. He's a grinder. He had to earn this opportunity to be selected No. 1." - Colangelo
9. "He's a willing defensive player and a willing defensive athlete, a gifted athlete under a roof of a quality person. Those qualities let you have a far better chance to mold him into the defensive player we need here." - Brown
10. "It's going to be times where maybe Ben brings up the ball or times where I'm bringing up the ball. It's going to do whatever we need to do to win." - Fultz
11. "He just checked all the boxes." - Colangelo
12. "In the last couple weeks and stuff I started talking to [Embiid] a lot more. He used to tweet and retweet my stuff. Once he figured out I had a chance to go there, he started showing more love." - Fultz
13. "When I look at the combination of both Ben and Markelle, it's a really exciting challenge to have where you try to grow those two players and let them coexist." - Brown
14. "I want to improve on all aspects of my game. But most importantly, at the defensive end." - Fultz
15. "We really think Markelle could be a really good two-way player. We just have to now get him to think that way and begin to play that way all the time." - Colangelo
16. "We'll (Fultz and Simmons) be great. On the court, we'll play well with each other. Great players are going to play well with each other." - Fultz
17. "Where we were and where we are and the pieces, the real people that you can actually touch, and especially the three people that we're talking about mostly now in Embiid, Simmons and Markelle Fultz, the city has to feel fantastic. I know the organization does." - Brown
18. "My mentality is a winner's mentality." - Fultz
19. "Perhaps not every point guard in the league, but [Simmons] will be able to guard multiple positions. Markelle, with his size, is going to be able to guard multiple positions. So you may see different lineups and he may be at the one, he may be at the two. Again, a perfect combination guard that is going to fit in nicely with the rest of our people." - Colangelo
20. "When you look at Ben and you look at Joel and you look at Markelle, when you say, 'What's the common denominator that on the court can help them succeed best?' It's space. It's clear, it's space." - Brown
21. "There is an inner drive there and that is something that makes him special. He is motivated to prove people wrong, but not in a bad way. It's in a very positive way." - Colangelo
22. "I've been texting him (Simmons) through the college process and just getting advice." - Fultz
23. "If you look at our guys and you look at the response they have given to Markelle, it's incredibly impressive and reflective of some youthful enthusiasm and truly how excited they are to include him into our team." - Brown
24. "We've dug very deep on this and we feel that regardless of whatever the performance of the University of Washington Huskies was last year, it's not relevant to who Markelle represents, what he represents as a player, and how he is going to fit in and help us turn this program around." - Colangelo
25. "I just want to tell [the fans] I'm looking forward to being out there. I love you guys and I'm coming to put all my heart and soul into this program. I hope you guys are ready." - Fultz