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Caron Butler thinks Orlando’s starting point guard job is Markelle Fultz’s to lose


Former first-overall pick Markelle Fultz has yet to play one minute for the Orlando Magic, but former NBA swingman Caron Butler believes the starting point-guard role is Fultz’ to lose.

Speaking on NBATV while doing the color commentary for the Magic’s matchup with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada, Butler expressed his opinion saying veteran guard D.J. Augustin is a willing player to move between the starting role and coming off the bench. Furthermore, Butler added that Fultz should be finally healthy and had the entire summer to prepare himself entering his third NBA season when the fall comes.

Orlando acquired Fultz at the trade deadline in February of this year for shooting guard Jonathon Simmons, and two draft picks. The Philadelphia 76ers selected the University of Washington product Fultz, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, with the first pick in the 2017 draft. His rookie season was cut short—totaling 14 games played—due to issues with thoracic outlet syndrome, which was actualized in his poor shooting form widely criticized and point out by skeptics.

Fultz averaged 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game in 33 total NBA appearances, shooting 41.4% from the floor, 26.7% from beyond the 3-point arc, and 53.4% from the free throw line.

He’s had a rocky start to his NBA career, with his adjustments in shooting motion, especially noticeable at the free throw line, lampooned and derailed. The Magic are hoping Philly cutting bait on the first-pick talent was a mistake, and that Fultz’s dynamic playmaking can lead Orlando to the next level, as the team lost in the first round of the 2019 playoffs.