Markelle Fultz Could be the Playmaker Sixers are Missing
The Sixers know they need another top-level player, to complement Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Thinking back to the series with the Celtics, sagging defense on Ben Simmons, left the Sixers struggling to find offense, with their rookie-of-the-year point-guard being challenged by Boston defenders to beat them from the perimeter.
The Sixers lacked another individual shot creator to help take some pressure off Simmons in the series, and too often, Simmons passed the ball and the team settled for three-point shots. They eventually turned to T.J. McConnell to help take some of the pressure off Simmons, allowing him to move off-the-ball, and picked up a nice Game 4 win.
It was a goal for the Sixers this offseason to find another ball-handler, who could play alongside Simmons, but also do his own thing, like taking the ball to the rim, and finding others for open looks.
Enter Markelle Fultz.
“There have been enough people now saying they’ve been talking to people who have worked out with Fultz and are saying great things and that he’s dominating," said NBA writer, Alex Kennedy, who spoke to Fultz's shooting coach Drew Hanlen on the HoopsHype.com podcast.
That’s why the Sixers were reluctant to include Fultz in any deals this offseason.
"People who have seen him have been very excited," Kennedy explained on The Sports Bash. "I think the Sixers are being updated and they like what they’re hearing. Hanlen said if you’re a Philly fan, it is time to get excited."
They have seen a guy in Fultz average 23.2 points per game, while also grabbing 5.7 rebounds and handing out 5.9 assists per game while at the University of Washington.
"With Fultz it’s interesting because he went from being such a dominant guy in college to struggling with fundamentals and basic shooting," Kennedy stated.
The Sixers admitted they need another high-level player to make any playoff run moving forward, and Kennedy thinks that player could be Fultz.
"Yeah I think so, I really do," Kennedy admitted.
"Drew Hanlen is someone who is honest, I will say that. So if Markelle Fultz is playing horribly, he wouldn’t be saying things like it’s time for Philly fans to get excited. He wouldn’t be saying things are moving in a positive direction. Not only looks like his shot is better but looks more explosive and like the player we saw in college, if not better. I think there is enough evidence out there that he’s going to be a contributor."