Posts for Markelle Fultz

Thank God the Sixers Passed on Lonzo Ball and His ESPN-Enabled Father

Tim Reilly - January 9, 2018

It’s fair to say that Markelle Fultz’s rookie campaign has not gone according to plan.

Fultz, a player whose talents so intrigued the Sixers front office that GM Bryan Colangelo traded in some of the team’s prized draft assets to move into the No. 1 slot in order to select him, was supposed to be the culmination of the organization’s multi-season rebuild. At the very least, fans expected him to play a significant role as the Sixers shifted from “The Process” to the postseason.

So far, the Sixers’ young slasher has been stuck in neutral. Fultz labored through a shoulder injury that affected his jump shot and ultimately pushed him out of the lineup after four games.

There’s hope on the horizon, however. Kevin Kinkead’s Sunday notebook included a lengthy update on Fultz’s progress. The rookie’s participation in a full contact practice suggests his return to game action is imminent. The Sixers would certainly stand to benefit from Fultz’s presence in the rotation as they look to make a playoff push during the second half of the season.

No matter what happens this season, the Sixers made the right choice when they drafted Fultz. Ever since the NBA modified its hand-checking rule in 2004-05, point guards have never been more integral to the success of a team. The space-and-pace revolution that has overtaken the game demands a team employ a ball handler who can take advantage of overextended defenses by driving and dishing to open teammates. He also needs to be a perimeter scoring threat on his own who, ideally, can play off the ball as well. After all, the organizations that are excelling in the modern NBA are attacking defenses with multiple athletes who can run the offense.

Fultz’s ability to penetrate and pass to open teammates will make him a good player. But the three-point shooting ability he demonstrated in college will make him special.

There’s still time for Fultz to refine his game, of course. He’s only 19, and in the collegiate one-and-done culture that has been created in the wake of the NBA’s minimum age requirement, more and more players are starting their professional careers as raw prospects. Fultz likely won’t begin to hit his prime until his second contract.

Looking back on the 2017 NBA draft, there was really only one other viable option that the Sixers could have considered with the first pick. They could have taken a chance on Lonzo Ball. Continue Reading

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Sixers Notes: More Markelle Video and the Justin Anderson/Jrue Holiday Connection

Kevin Kinkead - January 5, 2018

You wanted it, so here it is – more Markelle Fultz practice video.

He again worked on the far court Friday morning, going through a variety of shooting exercises with Sixers staff:

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Here’s the Markelle Fultz Free Throw Video You’ve All Been Waiting For

Kevin Kinkead - January 3, 2018

Joel Embiid remains doubtful for tonight’s game against the Spurs with a sprained right hand suffered in the Phoenix win. San Antonio didn’t hold a shoot around, so we’ll have to wait to see who suits up for the visitors on the second night of a back to back.

That’s it for the morning update.

Again the biggest takeaway from Camden was the presence of Markelle Fultz, who showed off his new form at the free-throw line:

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Here’s Video of Markelle Fultz Dunking a Basketball

Kevin Kinkead - December 18, 2017

Looks like the shoulder is getting better.

Markelle Fultz posted a Snapchat story where he’s messing around with a low-height hoop:

All you need to see there is him putting his arms above his head.

We need to see him shoot to get a better idea of where he’s really at. Jump-shot, free-throw, anything really. Fultz has been doing limited activities at practice and usually leaves the court when the session becomes open to media.

The last update came on December 9th via team press release:

Fultz is no longer experiencing soreness in his right shoulder and the scapular muscle imbalance is resolved. He will continue ongoing physical therapy and maintenance, while participating in increased strength and conditioning training and elevated on-court basketball activities. The 76ers medical team, in coordination with Dr. Ben Kibler, will gauge his readiness in approximately three weeks.

Having lost five of six and now sitting at 14-14, the Sixers could use the services of their #1 overall draft pick.

Markelle Fultz’s People and The Sixers Are Engaging In The Strangest He Said, She Said Ever

Kevin Kinkead - October 25, 2017

Markelle Fultz will miss three games due to his lingering shoulder soreness, an issue that GM Bryan Colangelo addressed at Wednesday morning’s shootaround.

Head coach Brett Brown had his chance to speak on the topic before the 7 p.m. tip off against Houston.

“I’m glad for him,” Brown said of his rookie guard. “I think we all understand that there were some things going on. And I feel like it’s a time where he can take a deep breath and we can help move him forward in a cleaner way. I’m looking at this as a positive.”

Brown was asked by Howard Eskin if he previously knew about the severity of the issue.

“You could feel it,” Brown said. “You could feel that he just wasn’t a hundred percent. I’ve been saying that for a while now.”

Esking followed up: Did the Sixers medical staff not express that the shoulder was a considerable problem?

“Not to the point where anybody was going to shut him down,” Brown explained. “I think, without getting into their side of it, and I say this with ease – when you have a first player chosen he’s struggling the way he was with his shot – I immerse myself in the chronological history of him in (high school), him at Washington, him at our own draft workout, summer league. And I’ve watched hundreds and hundreds of his shots. The thing I get out of it, as much as anything, when you leave watching it, you see clearly why he was the first chosen. He’s a baller. He can really, really play.”

Earlier, Colangelo suggested that Fultz’s shoulder soreness might be the result of him changing his shot mechanics back in August. Brown was asked if he had ever heard of that before.

“No, I haven’t. I don’t dismiss that it could have been a possibility. There is zero doubt that Markelle – in goodness in his heart and trying to do the right thing –  tried to readjust his shot. He has historically been a left hip guy, and on his own he decided, with some help, to be able to try to improve it. Not maliciously, but trying to get better.”

At the same exact time Brown was speaking to media at Wells Fargo Center, Fultz’s trainer and mentor, Keith Williams, was on 94 WIP’s Carlin and Reese show… saying the exact opposite.

This exchange begins with Williams being read Brown’s comments, almost in real-time: Continue Reading

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Details and Quotes From Bryan Colangelo’s Press Conference

Kevin Kinkead - October 25, 2017

There’s a lot to parse after Bryan Colangelo’s media availability this morning, but here are some key takeaways from the discussion regarding Markelle Fultz’s shoulder injury:

  • Fultz will sit out the next three games and be reevaluated in a week
  • there is no structural damage to his shoulder
  • Colangelo suggested that Fultz changed his shot on his own sometime in August, which may have been the genesis of the injury
  • the team found out about the shoulder in late September or early October, before training camp started
  • he said there was “no medical reason” to sit Fultz, and that the rookie wanted to play
  • the team did not feel it was necessary to put out a release notifying media that Fultz had an October 5th cortisone shot

Colangelo spoke for about 20 minutes. I’ll pick out some of the more relevant quotes: Continue Reading

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Markelle Fultz’s Agent Revises Shoulder Injury Comments

Kevin Kinkead - October 24, 2017

What’s the follow-up to a Woj bomb? Is it a Woj amendment? A Woj alteration?

Tonight, ESPN’s NBA insider updated his earlier story about Markelle Fultz’s shoulder injury with a redone quote from the rookie’s agent. It was initially reported that the Sixers’ rookie guard had fluid drained from his shoulder and was having issues raising his arm to properly shoot the ball. Fultz had allegedly tried to play through the pain to help the team.

That quote was updated:

“He had a cortisone shot on Oct. 5, which means fluid was put into his shoulder — not taken out,” agent Raymond Brothers told ESPN on Tuesday night. “My intention earlier was to let people know that he’s been experiencing discomfort. We will continue to work with (Sixers general manager) Bryan Colangelo and the medical staff.”

That’s the correct story, according to those with knowledge of the situation.

Fultz’s shoulder soreness was first made public on October 5th, the day he received the shot. That was the only day he was officially listed on the Sixers injury report. Fultz did not play the following day in the preseason game against the Celtics.

After receiving second opinions on the injury, the Sixers medical staff decided that physical therapy was the best course of action and determined that it was not necessary to hold him out from regular season action.

We’ll get some more information Wednesday at the morning shootaround.

Some Details On Markelle Fultz’s Shoulder Injury

Kevin Kinkead - October 24, 2017

There’s an update to this story here. The original is after the jump. Continue Reading

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