Remember Markelle Fultz?
Markelle Fultz is about to enter his third year in the NBA, with only 33 games under his belt. He played the first four games of his rookie season, but then didn’t play again until March due to a shoulder injury that was affecting Fultz’s shooting. He started the first 15 games of the season at shooting guard in 2018, but was then replaced by Jimmy Butler. Soon after he was benched, it was announced that he wouldn’t take part in basketball activities while he received further evaluations on his shoulder, which was later diagnosed as thoracic outlet syndrome.
So basically, Markelle Fultz has had a pretty crappy start to his NBA career. Luckily for him, the Orlando Magic took him off of the Philadelphia 76ers’ hands last year. After having all but 19 games of the 2018-2019 season off and using this offseason to recover, there are hopes that Markelle can come back and make an impact in the NBA.
Caron Butler was on NBA TV during the Magic/Bulls summer league game and shared some thoughts on Markelle Fultz and provided an update on where he’s at with his recovery.
“The guy that no one’s talking about, who’s healthy, who’s worked his tail off right now all summer long is Markelle Fultz. I think he’s going to be a huge addition to this ball club.”
D.J. Augustin is the current starting point guard for Orlando and was the starter for the Magic when they made their playoff run last season as well. With all this recovery time and talk about Fultz being healthy, there could be competition over who gets the starting point guard role.
“I think this is for Markelle Fultz’s to lose. I think that D.J. is in position as a seasoned vet, that he’s okay being the backup guy or the starter because he’s in position to do both. His true value is because he’s willing to do both. He can start for a franchise or he can come off the bench and he will not miss a beat.”
I, for one, would love to see Markelle Fultz make his return to the NBA and make a huge impact. He was drafted first overall for a reason, you know. He was filthy when he was playing in college. He averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks in one year at Washington. Also, he had shooting averages of 48% from the field and 41% from three.
There’s no doubt that Fultz’s injury changed the course of his career. He was a straight-up baller in college, and he was supposed to come in and translate that game into the NBA. Unfortunately, he did suffer from that freak injury, but now that he’s healthy and ready to compete, he can help make the Magic much better than they were last season.
“This is a great opportunity for him to step in and make the seamless transition from Philadelphia, now going into a summer without rehabbing and being completely healthy and now you’re just building on the tangibles of your game. I think that he’s going to be great this year and I think that the Orlando Magic are going to be a team to be reckoned with.”
Markelle Fultz’s NBA career averages are awful for a former #1 overall pick, but I’m hoping this season can change that and remind fans why he was hyped up as much as he was coming out of Washington. Orlando is the perfect place for him to get a second chance, so let’s hope he can capitalize on this opportunity.
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