Jacari McRae | November 28th, 2018
The Markelle Fultz era in Philadelphia may be coming to an end. While the Philadelphia 76ers have publicly said that they remain committed to Fultz, and Fultz’s agent Raymond Brothers has denied reports of Fultz wanting a trade, there continues to be whispers that the Sixers may be ready to part ways from the guard. Keith Pompey of Philly.com reported over the weekend that Philadelphia could consider trading Fultz in the near future.
Some sources have said that, despite the team’s statements, Fultz is no longer in the Sixers’ long-term plans. And they are no longer using his shoulder as an excuse for his performances.
It’s been a rough start for former No. 1 overall pick in his NBA career. He has only played in 14 games as a rookie, with the Sixers citing shoulder issues as the cause of his inability to shoot. During the off-season, Fultz trained with NBA trainer Drew Hanlen in hopes of improving his shot. However, there has been no signs of improvement, and it’s got to a point now where NFL players are making fun of Fultz’s free throw routine.
Last Wednesday, Brothers informed the team that Fultz will not play in another game until his shoulder is re-evaluated by a specialist in New York. As ESPN reported on Monday, Fultz’s evaluation is expected to continue through Wednesday with an update expected later this week. To make matters worse, Fultz is also dealing with wrist issues.
As Pompey suggested in his article, trading Fultz will not be an easy task. While the 76ers may want a good return back, teams will likely be hesitant to give up a first, or even a second round pick. Fultz is averaging a dismal 8.2 points per game and has only converted 4/14 from three-point range. Then there’s the jump shot problem, which teams believe is more of a mental block issue, despite Fultz insisting it’s his shoulder. Because of this, there’s the belief that he will never improve his shot.
Although there’s probably not a market for Fultz at the moment, two teams to keep an eye on are the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic. Both are desperate for point guard help and could be willing to take a gamble on Fultz. Phoenix has a team surrounded with shooters and a lob threat in DeAndre Ayton, while Orlando is not expected to be an Eastern Conference playoff contender anytime soon.
However, as of right now, nothing is happening until Fultz returns to the court.
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