Sixers Remove Fultz From Starting Lineup
During Tuesday's press conference to introduce the newest member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler, general manager Elton Brand mentioned that his addition would obviously cause a "ripple effect" down the roster. With Butler and the new-look Sixers set to take on the Magic Wednesday night in Orlando, Markelle Fultz will be removed from the starting five, likely putting him in the primary back-up point guard role moving forward.
In 15 games this season as a starter, Fultz is averaging 9.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists, shooting 41.2 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from three-point range. Although Markelle has shown progression on the defensive end, his struggles on offense and reluctance to shoot continues to be an issue. Fultz hasn't taken a three since October 30, which was seven games ago.
In addition, his free throw form looks to have regressed as of late and there's building frustration after the Butler trade that he may not have a future with the Sixers for much longer. That being said, Elton Brand said the the Sixers are still invested in developing the former top pick this season.
"I still think it's the best place for him to develop because we love him and we care," Brand said. "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 place for him still."
As for Butler's thoughts on Fultz, he says that as long as Markelle is going hard and giving it all every day, he has his respect.