EPeak Daily

Alford: Too early to name Markelle Fultz a bust

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Bust. It’s a time period usually used to explain an immensely proficient team-sport athlete who’s drafted with a excessive decide however falls in need of the expectations laid upon him.

For those who lookup the phrase within the dictionary, you may see photos of Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, Michael Olowokandi, and Anthony Bennett.

Alongside those self same traces, this time period has now grow to be synonymous with former NBA No. 1 decide Markelle Fultz.

The Philadelphia 76ers traded Fultz on Thursday to the Orlando Magic for Jonathon Simmons, a first-round decide and a second-round decide. It was not an overwhelmingly nice return for the Sixers, but it surely was clear that they had been prepared to show the web page on the short-lived Fultz period.

How did we get up to now? How can the Sixers commerce their second high draft choice in as many seasons for mere position gamers and draft property?

Is it as a result of they’re in win-now mode and consider they’ve a shot to make it to the NBA Finals this season? Or was he on the flawed group, caught in a corporation that didn’t permit his abilities to shine?

All of those questions are warranted and shall be answered sooner or later.

However, when contemplating the curious case of Markelle Fultz, one wonders what may have been.

Everyone remembers how he performed on the College of Washington a few years in the past as a freshman for an underwhelming squad.

He was an immensely proficient combo guard with a clean spin transfer that left observers in awe each time he drove into the lane. He was in comparison with reigning NBA MVP James Harden due to his playmaking and shotmaking skills.

It was clear he was the primary decide at the moment, regardless of a draft class which had Jayson Tatum, Lonzo Ball, De’Aaron Fox, Kyle Kuzma, and Donovan Mitchell.

Then the 2017 NBA Draft got here. The Sixers traded up from No. Three to No. 1, which was notable sufficient, however what’s extra is that they traded with their arch-rivals, the Boston Celtics, to take Fultz.

Positive, the Celtics acquired Tatum and had a proper to be ok with their choice, however in Philadelphia, who cared? At that second, it appeared this was a match made in heaven for “The Course of.” The Sixers lastly had their backcourt of the long run with Ben Simmons and Fultz.

Then issues continued to look promising within the NBA Summer season League. Fultz placed on a present in Salt Lake Metropolis. He confirmed off his electrical spin transfer and pulled up for 3-pointers with ease.

Nevertheless, for the entire promise we noticed with Fultz, it got here to a screeching fault when the 2017-18 season started.

There was one thing flawed along with his leap shot. A hitch grew to become evident each time he took a shot. The mechanics seemed uncomfortable. Extra importantly, Fultz seemed uncomfortable.

The 6-foot-Four combo guard missed a majority of his rookie marketing campaign with scapular muscle imbalance, which impacts the shoulder. Fultz finally made his approach again onto the hardwood, enjoying late in that season and ending his rookie 12 months with a triple-double. But, that was short-lived, too: The younger level guard nonetheless couldn’t discover his groove.

This season, Fultz has performed in solely 19 video games. He went to see a shoulder specialist in November. The subsequent month, he was recognized with TOS, or thoracic outlet syndrome, which has plagued different basketball gamers reminiscent of Landry Fields and Ben Uzoh.

May the TOS prognosis clarify Fultz’s awkward taking pictures movement and NBA struggles? And not using a shadow of a doubt. It isn’t usually {that a} basketball participant along with his ability set goes from being a beginning NBA level guard to a doable bust.

Not many individuals perceive the pressures of being a No. 1 draft decide and all the things that comes with it.

With that being mentioned, it’s nonetheless too early to name Fultz a bust. Whereas he won’t have match with the Sixers, possibly he can have his “come to Jesus” second in Orlando.

If he can determine issues out with the assistance of Magic head coach Steve Clifford and make it by way of one of many hardest roadblocks of his profession, I’ve little doubt that he’ll grow to be one of many higher gamers within the Affiliation.

This story is much from over.

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