We got Sixers General Manager Elton Brand off to the side after the Jimmy Butler press conference, so I want to start with that first, then I’ll transcribe some of the stuff from earlier. In between these stories, I’m gonna ride over to Five Guys in Cherry Hill and house a couple of burgers.

Brand talked about Markelle Fultz, the double-clutch free-throw from last night, and his current status with the team.

Here’s the verbatim of the Q/A session with non-Fultz questions removed:

Jon Johnson (94 WIP): I hate to ask you this on such a day; a lot was made last night about Markelle Fultz’s free throw. Did you see it? What was your reaction?

Brand: I saw the free throw, for sure. I’ve been seeing him work this summer, and all of this season, and he has times where something like that happens. But following that, he shot it very well and it looked very fluid. He’s going to have some ups and downs. He’s going to have more ups than downs. You saw the talent level in flashes, how talented he is.

Crossing Broad: Elton, is he still working with Drew Hanlen? There was a report last night that he and Drew were no longer on speaking terms.

Brand: I’m not sure about that. We have our coaching staff here and he’s working with our coaching staff. But there’s a window from before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. that you can work with outside trainers in our facility, but I’m not sure about that.

More after the jump:

Sarah Todd (Inquirer): What you saw on the free throw last night from Markelle, that’s something you’ve seen before during practice and over the summer?

Brand: Not necessarily the free throw, but just him shooting and working on his shot, different things that he was working on and growing. I’ve never seen him shoot a free throw like that.

Todd: Is that concerning, to see him shoot a free throw like that?

Brand: It would have been concerning if he didn’t come back and shoot three more shots and they didn’t look really fluid. I was actually proud that he came back and hit a shot and did what he did after that, because he deals with a lot. He’s 20 years old. Again, he’s very talented. It’s my role, my job, to get the best out of him.

Kyle Neubeck (Philly Voice): You mentioned that other teams weren’t just going to sit around and wait for you to develop. Do you still feel like this is the best place for Markelle to develop, given how far he still has to come and the urgency you now have with a star in their prime (Butler) next to Joel?

Brand: I still think it’s the best place for him to develop because we love him and we care. He’s with us. He’s a part of us. If he goes somewhere else, I don’t know what that looks like. But for him to develop, it may be the best for him still.

Todd: I’m sure conversations have been had with Brett throughout this process. On the basketball side of things, you lost two starters and now Jimmy is here. What does that starting rotation look like now?

Brand: So I spoke to coach about that and he’s getting with his staff. He’s going to go over that before the game tomorrow and of course tonight. But it’s going to have ripple effects throughout the entire roster when you add a four-time All-Star to your squad.

Dave Uram (94 WIP): What’s been your assessment of Markelle a month into the season and was this trade a reflection on any changed views of Markelle’s future?

Brand: No, not at all. It wasn’t a changed view of Markelle’s future. It was more of a changed view of being able to get a superstar right now and seeing where other teams were. There are some really talented teams. Toronto is doing really well. Milwaukee is doing well. I think Boston figures it out. Indiana is right on the cusp. So it was just a chance to have our team take another leap, take another step.

Derek Bodner (The Athletic): You say Markelle will have some ups and downs; this is a business where the downs can be very public. How do you prevent that from becoming a drag on his confidence?

Brand: Yeah that’s why I was so proud of him, because I know he felt however he felt during that free throw. And for him to respond like that and come back and shoot fluid jumpers and go to the hole and do what he does, I’m proud of a 20 year old dealing with a lot.

Here’s the free throw in case you missed it:


Fultz said the ball slipped out of his hands during this shot.

He had five points on 2-8 shooting and went 1-3 from the line in last night’s 124 to 114 road win.