Will the Sixers part ways with Markelle Fultz before the February NBA trade deadline?
After spending most of his rookie season dealing with an injury, Markelle Fultz headed into his sophomore year with the hope of making a huge impact for the Philadelphia 76ers. Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown entrusted him the starting role in place of veteran shooting guard J.J. Redick. Unfortunately, the former No. 1 pick is nothing but a huge disappointment in the 2018-19 NBA season.
Markelle Fultz established a poor performance on both ends of the floor and struggled with his shooting. In 19 games he played this season, the 20-year-old point guard is only averaging 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists on 41.9 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Athletic revealed that Fultz is currently dealing with injuries.
Aside from his shoulder issue, Fultz is reportedly playing with an injury in his right wrist. Fultz won’t play or attend any practice with the Sixers until his injuries are examined by specialists in New York next week. Also, sources reportedly told The Athletic that Fultz “would prefer a fresh start with a new team.”
The rumors quickly spread around the league and reached Markelle Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers. Via Twitter, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN posted a statement from Brothers, saying that they haven’t made a trade request with the Sixers and added their current focus is the health of the young point guard.
“I have given no indication to Elton Brand or anyone else that Markelle would prefer to be traded. My focus is to get Markelle healthy. End of story.”
In the Sixers’ 121-120 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night, Markelle Fultz was seen sitting on Philadelphia’s bench wearing street clothes. Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown admitted that he heard the rumors surrounding their young point guard, but he refused to give any comments until he learns all the details.
“It would be irresponsible and reckless for me to even comment on it. I won’t until I learn more,” Brown said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
Meanwhile, Markelle Fultz’s agent Raymond Brothers had reportedly met with Sixers General Manager Elton Brand to inform him that the former No.1 pick won’t play until he sees a specialist next week. Though he gave him permission to take a leave, Brand remains puzzled with Fultz’s health condition.
“There’s nothing we saw medically that didn’t allow him to play,” Brand said. “He played last night. He played two days ago. Ever since Jimmy Butler came [last week] and [Fultz] wasn’t starting, I thought he played pretty well. I was proud of him the way he bounced back from a lot of things.”
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