PHILADELPHIA – OCT. 31, 2018 – Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand announced today that the team has exercised the rookie-scale options on the contracts of Markelle Fultz, Dario Šarić and Ben Simmons. By exercising the options, these players will be under contract with the 76ers for the 2019-20 season.
Fultz, who was originally selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, following one season at the University of Washington, has appeared in 22 NBA games for the 76ers. This season, his second with Philadelphia, Fultz has played in eight games (all starts) and is averaging 9.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.0 steals in 24.6 minutes per contest.
In 2018-19, he has scored in double figures four times, including a career-high 16 points on Oct. 29 vs. Atlanta. In the final game of the 2017-18 season, Fultz posted 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds against Milwaukee as he became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double.
Initially chosen with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by Orlando, the 76ers acquired the rights to Šarić in a draft-night trade. He spent 2014-16 competing for Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball Super League before signing with Philadelphia on July 15, 2016.
Now in his third season, Šarić has started each of the 76ers’ eight games in 2018-19 and holds averages of 10.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 31.0 minutes per contest. He’s notched a season-best 15 points at Milwaukee on Oct. 24. An All-Rookie First Team selection following the 2016-17 season, Šarić has seen action in 167 career games (117 starts), posting 13.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 28.1 minutes per game. A native of Croatia, he has made the most three-pointers of any internationally-born 76er in franchise history.
Philadelphia drafted Simmons, the 2018 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. In his first NBA season, the Australian-born Simmons joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only two rookies in league history to post at least 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. He was one of only three NBA players to post such averages last season, joining current Laker LeBron James and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
Simmons has started each of the seven contests he’s appeared in this season and has tallied 13.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.7 minutes per game. He’s notched a pair of triple-doubles in 2018-19, making him the only NBA player with more than one; while his 13-point, 13-rebound, 11-assist outing was the first-ever triple-double by a 76er in the team’s home opener. Through 87 career games, Simmons has posted 14 triple-doubles, which is tied for seventh among active NBA players. The only player in NBA history with more triple-doubles within their first 100 career games than Simmons is Robertson.