Sixers Are Happy to See Markelle Fultz Bouncing Back
A few years ago, the Philadelphia 76ers took a major gamble, which felt like a no-brainer at the time. As they possessed the third-overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, former Sixers General Manager Bryan Colangelo attempted to move up in the order to take the young and promising Washington Huskies prospect, Markelle Fultz.
As the Sixers made Markelle Fultz the number one pick in the draft to sort of complete 'The Process,' they didn't realize it was the beginning of the end of his eventual short-tenure with the team. I could sit here and re-visit the strange timeline of Fultz's two-year stint with the Sixers, but we would be here all day.
With a handful of stories going around about that situation, nobody is even sure of what exactly happened to Markelle Fultz. In the end, he was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and shut down for the rest of the 2018 season. And instead of trying to push through the struggles with keeping Fultz, Sixers' new General Manager Elton Brand decided to end the era early, in an attempt to get a fresh start.
Nowadays, Fultz is finally back in action, but this time, he's with the Orlando Magic. Although he still hasn't looked the part of a former first-overall pick, the one-time Sixers guard has been doing well for himself in Orlando. This past Sunday, the Sixers managed to play against the Magic with Fultz on the court for the first time, and Sixers head coach Brett Brown had nothing but praise for his former player.
"It was fantastic to see him play," Brett Brown said on Sunday night after the game. "It was fantastic to see him play at what I think is a high level. I thought he was really good; he’s elusive, he’s hard to guard. We always are following him, and we wish him well. It’s good to see him back on a basketball court and performing well.”
Along with Brett Brown, Fultz's former teammate, Ben Simmons, also sent some slight praise towards his way. “He looks like he got his flow back," Simmons said, following the matchup. "He looks happy, so I’m happy for him.”
Fultz came off the bench for the Magic on Sunday, draining five of his eleven attempted shots for 12 points. He also packed on five assists, and two steals in 21 minutes of playing time. While he's still not the star he was once expected to be, the former Sixers guard is slowly, but surely, finding his way in the NBA.
As expected, the re-location for Fultz turned out better for both parties involved. Fultz can freely find his way back with the support of Orlando, and the Sixers can move on from the distraction that the entire situation caused. In the end, everybody seems happy.