Markelle Fultz: Top 10 Sixers busts since 2000
Shooting is one of the first skills a kid learns when introduced to the game of basketball. For Markelle Fultz, he forgot this lesson at the worst time. He lost his ability to shoot right after NBA Summer League play just before his regular-season debut. How could he forget how to shoot?
Before answering this, it is important to note how much the franchise went through just to acquire him in the 2017 NBA Draft. The previous year, Joel Embiid was shut down due to injury, and the Sixers went on to win only 28 games. Their cellar-dwelling status in the Eastern Conference standings gave Philly another ideal draft situation.
The front office would eventually trade their number three pick to move up to number one. Boston selected Jayson Tatum and the Sixers picked Fultz. To this point, the two could not have had a more different career as far as individual and team success is concerned. The center of it all? Shooting.
So, the shooting woes of Markelle Fultz have been well documented, discussed, and debated. Did he injure his shoulder? Was it a mental case of the yips? We may never know the truth. Ardent Fultz supporters give him the benefit of the doubt, sympathizing for a young 19-year-old who developed a hitch in his free throw shooting form. Those on the other side point to peculiar instances where his shoulder seemed fine.
There was the time when Fultz was heaving trick shots from beyond half-court at the practice facility. There was also the time when he was recorded doing cartwheels on concrete. The debate did not last long because he was soon traded to the Orlando Magic for Jonathan Simons and draft picks.
Though one of those picks would translate to the Tyrese Maxey 2020 draft selection by Philly, the Markelle Fultz dilemma is one of the most confusing and disappointing situations in the Sixers’ history. It is right up there with the top bust in franchise history.