Image Credit: Sporting News
Sometimes, it seems like just yesterday the Philadelphia 76ers shipped the third pick in the 2017 NBA Draft along with a future first-rounder to the Boston Celtics for the #1 overall pick, resulting in the team selecting PG Markelle Fultz. Other days, it feels like the former University of Washington standout’s prolonged battle with a shoulder injury has been dragging on for ages.
Tuesday afternoon, the basketball world received some clarity on the situation. First reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, we’ll let the tweets speak for themselves:
Clarification: “…thus severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball. TOS is treatable by physical therapy.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 4, 2018
Sidelined since November 19th with the injury, the days of Philly not worrying about their young guard’s shoulder are still haunting the front office more than a year after selecting him. Shooting nearly 48% from the field and canning over 41% of his triples his lone season with the Huskies, Fultz seemed like a no-brainer pick at the top of the draft a year ago.
Sitting the majority of his rookie season, Fultz managed to appear in 14 games (0 starts), averaging 7.1 points a contest but failing to record a single three made. After rebuilding his entire jump shot over the offseason, NBA fans and front office executives alike were cautiously optimistic about the 20-year-old’s “improved” jumper.
Raising his scoring average to just 8.2 PPG, knocking down just 29% of his attempts from deep and failing to convert on 60% of his opportunities at the free throw line, something was still clearly wrong with Fultz – whether mental, physical, or both.
In addition to not shooting well from the field, Fultz has been ridiculed for his quirky release at the free throw line all season. When tossing trade rumors into the mix as well, it’s not hard to tell that the past 12-16 months haven’t been too kind to Fultz. Now that his injury has some context to it, perhaps he & the Sixers can take a different course of action and get things permanently solved this time around.
Wojnarowski states that Fultz is out “indefinitely” but that “there’s optimism that he can return within an approximate range of three to six weeks…”
With physical therapy, an option, stay tuned for updates on both Fultz’s condition and how the 76ers plan to handle it.