While the Philadelphia 76ers made the decision that it was time to move on from second-year guard Markelle Fultz, they struck a deal ahead of the trade deadline. The move sent Fultz, the former No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, to the Orlando Magic. It marks a fresh start for the former college star who’s struggled with a lingering shoulder injury which has apparently impacted his jump shot.
As The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported, the Sixers sent Fultz to the Magic and received Jonathan Simmons, one first and one second-round draft pick. It was a fairly big haul for a player with many questions about both his immediate and long-term future. But it seems Magic fans are excited about the young guard and one fan wasted little time showing it.
David Baumann of 407Area.com revealed a photo on Twitter of a Magic fan during the team’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. The fan was wearing what is almost certainly a custom Fultz Magic jersey – just hours after the trade was revealed ahead of the deadline.
It’s impressive to see someone pull out the custom Fultz jersey with a turnaround time that quick. Or even better, maybe the fan was just expecting to see the deal happen and had the jersey ready to go prior. Regardless, kudos to him for jumping on the bandwagon before the former Sixers guard was likely even in town.
Markelle Fultz Injury & Timeline
Although there’s been no set time for when Fultz will return to the floor, this situation has been one of the most interesting in the entire NBA. He sat out most of his rookie season after there was an obvious change in his jump shot and seemingly his all-around game. After the year, Fultz worked with NBA player development specialist Drew Hanlen to improve his jumper.
While the two no longer work together at this point, Hanlen made strong comments previously about the upside Fultz possesses. This included the player development coach calling him “immediately an All-Star” when asked during an interview on FOX Sports 1’s The Sidelines With Evan Daniels about the guard’s upside.
“Star. I literally think that if he’s back to 100 percent, I think he’s immediately an All-Star. I know that’s a bold statement, but I work with a lot of other All-Stars, so I think I have the right to say that.” Hanlen stated.
Fultz returned early in the 2018-19 NBA season and got the starting nod for the first 15 games of the year for the Sixers. But after the team acquired Jimmy Butler, Fultz was moved to the bench and replaced by JJ Redick. Four games later, it was revealed the 20-year-old would sit out while visiting shoulder specialists in an attempt to receive any updated info on his injury.
After a short period, Fultz was diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The report first came from ESPN’s Adrian Wojarnowski, who cited his agent’s statement that this was “severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball.”
That news came back on December 4, and there has been no official timeline set for when he could return. Magic fans are surely hoping to see their newest player on the floor sooner than later, but they’ll need to be patient on that front.