Markelle Fultz looks to have his jump shot back based on a video from Bleacher Report. The former No. 1 pick for the Sixers has struggled with upper-body injuries in his career. At one point in 2017, his agent Raymond Brothers said that Fultz couldn’t even raise his arms above his head.
In the clip, he at least has a functional jumper in practice. He stepped into a triple and later pulled up for a jumper from just outside the key.
This is an encouraging sign for a Magic franchise that has made major strides in the last few seasons. Orlando broke into the Eastern Conference First Round last year, beating the eventual champion Raptors once before fading in five games.
He has averaged just 7.7 points and 3.4 assists per game, shooting just 41.4 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from behind the arc. In his one season at Washington, he shot just over 50 percent overall and 41.3 percent from three.
His college performance earned him his high draft standing, but a condition called Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) has slowed down his pro career. According to Brothers, the injury hindered Fultz’s shoulder and “affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion, thus severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball. TOS is treatable by physical therapy.”
Should this video prove the injury to be behind Fultz, the 3rd-year guard can finally start reaching the vast potential he showed at Washington. Here’s the video clip.
Orlando Magic Depth Chart if Markelle Fultz is Healthy
*Notates expected starter.
C: Nikola Vucevic*, Mo Bamba, Khem Birch
PF: Aaron Gordon*, Wesley Iwundu
SF: Jonathan Isaac*, Al-Farouq Aminu
SG: Evan Fournier*, Terrence Ross
PG: Markelle Fultz*, D.J. Augustin, Michael-Carter Williams
Should Fultz be fully ready to go physically, he will eventually be the starting point guard for the Magic. Augustin better fits the mold of someone who comes off the bench to provide instant offense, as he averaged 11.7 points and 42.1 percent on triples last season.
However, Augustin’s 6-foot frame is not ideal to defend the bigger guards of the NBA, while Fultz combining his 6-foot-4 size with a functional jumper automatically makes him a better option at the point. Meanwhile, Carter-Williams has made a “strong first impression with the Magic” but needs to prove he can stay healthy to break into significant minutes.
Meanwhile, there may not be a better offense-defense 1-2 punch in the frontcourt in the whole Eastern Conference. Vucevic is coming off his best season, scoring 20.8 points and grabbing 12 rebounds a game. This earned him his first All-Star berth, and he’s just 28.
Mo Bamba is the other stud in the interior. The 7-footer with a 7-foot-10 wingspan blocked 1.4 shots per game as a rookie, which will only improve as he adjusts to the speed of the NBA game.
Across the board, this is a big team, as forwards Gordon is 6-foot-9 while Isaac is 6-foot-10. Between Fultz and Augustin, there’s a significant need for perimeter scoring. This is why Fultz’s video should be exciting, as a playoff team can take a step forward if his shot is repeatable in live game action.