It’s time for Sixers fans to stop comparing Markelle Fultz to Jayson Tatum

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Markelle Fultz
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

By: Max Mangigian

It’s been less than a week and I am already done with the constant Jayson Tatum and Markelle Fultz comparisons. As a Sixers fan, I recognize that the Sixers have made their fair share of mistakes recently.

Personally, I was against the trade that saw Boston and Philadelphia swap picks for the 2017 NBA Draft the day it was announced.

I believed at No. 3 there were a few great options, as the 2017 draft was unusually deep. I wanted to take De’Aaron Fox at No. 3, but there were multiple choices I felt you couldn’t go wrong with.

The Sixers took a risk, one that many fans have come to regret, and I cannot blame them for that. The Sixers mortgaged the future, and it looks right now, that they will not live this down for a long time.

However, I cannot be alone in already dreading Sixers fans crying about this alleged mistake for the next five years. Regardless of how you feel, the Sixers have who they have, and it’s time for them to look within themselves.

May I remind you that Markelle Fultz is only 20-years-old. May I also remind you that Fultz has only played 15 regular season games in the NBA. It is way too soon to write Fultz off. It is fair, however, to say he and Tatum are very far apart right now.

The Sixers lost to a championship contender in Boston to open up the season, and sports talk radio will tell you the sky is already falling.

Over the summer, Brett Brown infamously said: “We’re star hunting.” That hunt came up empty, but that does not mean the Sixers lack star power.

While the NBA may feel like an arms race right now, it takes a lot more than star power to win titles. The Sixers, without Tatum, can and likely will be title contenders. So you struck out on LeBron James last summer, now it’s time for the guys in the room, to bring those championship dreams to fruition.

If the Sixers need motivation or proof that this is possible, they do not even have to leave the parking lot. The Philadelphia Eagles last year completed one of the most memorable underdog stories in sports. It did not come from star power.

Now, I fully understand that the NBA is much more reliant on stars, but the sentiment still translates. The Sixers need to look within, and each player and coach needs to reflect on what they can do to improve.

“The Process” has not failed. The Sixers took a risk in Joel Embiid, and I do not think a single Sixers fan would have done it differently if given a second chance.

Fultz may be taking longer than Tatum to develop, but that does not mean he never will. I understand that fans have waited long enough, I cannot disagree with that ideology.

The future’s still bright. It is time to ride with who we have, because we are all we’ve got, and all we need.

It starts with Brett Brown and the Sixers overall preparedness. The turnovers against Boston were inexcusable, and I was not happy with Brown’s idea of cheering his guys through it.

Philadelphia has a major issue with finding a consistent offense for 48 minutes. The players need to play with a sense of urgency and want it more.

If the Sixers take care of the basketball, limit mistakes, and make open shots, the outcome of the season opener may have been different. These are problems that can be solved. They do not require anything other than work.

Forget Jayson Tatum, it is time to look within.

Markelle Fultz
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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