Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz reportedly had fluid drained from his right shoulder earlier this month.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Markelle Fultz, the first overall selection in the 2017 draft, had fluid drained from his right shoulder, according to agent Raymond Brothers. Fultz will also be seeing a specialist at some point.
“Markelle had a shoulder injury and fluid drained out of the back of his shoulder,” said Brothers to ESPN. “He literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot the basketball. He decided to try and fight through the pain to help the team. He has a great attitude. We are committed to finding a solution to get Markelle back to 100 percent.”
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Fultz’s terrible shooting form has been the target of jokes since the season started. The quirky motions he’s employed haven’t worked, and the pain he was experiencing is what forced the adjustment. In four games, Fultz is averaging 6.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 19 minutes a night. He’s posted a piddling field goal clip of 33.3 percent, and his free throws aren’t much better at 50 percent. According to NBA.com, all of his shot attempts have come inside of 14 feet.
“From a basketball perspective, it’s been encouraging to see that Markelle can get any shot he wants during the game, but he has been unable to shoot the ball,” continued Brothers. During his one year at Washington, Fultz was a natural scorer who hit shots from all three levels. Rookies already have a hard enough time transitioning to the NBA. With Fultz, the lack of a jump shot has hampered him even more.
Philadelphia wanted him badly enough to trade up for the first overall pick, and it’s bizarre that they would risk his confidence and his health by playing him when he clearly can’t help them. Moreover, they’ve been precautious with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, so their decision not to shut down Fultz until they found an answer is even more puzzling.
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