In the City of Brotherly Love it appears as if one brother wants out. According to an article by Jared Weiss, Derek Bodner, and Sam Amick of the The Athletic, Philadelphia 76ers PG Markelle Fultz may being seeking a trade. On November 20th, the word from Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers, was that Markelle would not play another game or practice with the team until his right shoulder was examined by a specialist. The former Number One pick is reported to also be dealing with a right wrist injury.
Fultz was reported to be in good health at the start of the season after missing most of his rookie season last year. A nagging shoulder injury was purported as being a major contributing factor to his lack of anything close to the shooting ability he once displayed in college. The shooting woes have since continued since he began playing meaningful minutes for the 76ers.
Surely Markelle Fultz is just messing with us now…. (though, it was the smoothest free throw we’ve seen from him in a while). pic.twitter.com/d2GDQ6Cyg1
— Olgun Uluc (@OlgunUluc) November 17, 2018
Another theory was that Markelle suffered from the “yips” due to a lack of readiness for the stiff competition faced at the NBA level. Some people may simply not be cut out for the big time. While the mysterious shoulder injury of last year may certainly have been a cause for concern, it seems hard to believe that a professional basketball player’s shot can change so much from one year to the next. Fultz can hardly make a free-throw, see his pump-fake free throw or his hand-to-hand quick shot above, and the rest of his stats seem pedestrian.
While it may not be fair, Philadelphia fans are not the soft and cuddly variety. These are the same fans that embrassed a methed-out Jim Henson reject character as the mascot for their hockey team, which plays its home games in the same building as the 76ers. Markelle may not ever get a chance to gain confidence in himself while boos and heckled remarks are rained down from on high.
All sides have denied the rumors, but the trade winds may still blow Fultz down the Delaware River and onto a new team. Philadelphia GM Elton Brand will have plenty to think on as he watches his team attempt to play themselves into a second consecutive postseason. Perhaps it would be better for both sides if the divorce was amicable.
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