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Steve Clifford claims Markelle Fultz ‘can be a dynamic two-way player’ for the Magic

Magic, Markelle Fultz, Steve Clifford

While Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford has no idea when point guard Markelle Fultz is going to play, he still has confidence the youngster has a bright future in the league.

Fultz is still recovering from Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Clifford believes when Fultz does play for the Magic, he will be an effective two-way player.

“He can be a dynamic two-way player,” Clifford told Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “I think he’s the kind of player where he can play in transition and he can play in the half court. He has a pick-and-roll game. He can post. He has a high IQ. He knows how to run a team.

“I recruited (Washington) D.C. for a number of years (as a college coach). He plays like a D.C. kid: tough, competitive, hard-nosed, high IQ. And then defensively, he’s big, he’s quick, smart and he can guard a bunch of different guys. So he can be a really good player at both ends of the floor.”

The Magic acquired Markelle Fultz from the Philadelphia 76ers at the 2019 February trade deadline. He has career NBA averages of 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 41.4 percent from the field, 26.7 percent from beyond the arc and 53.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Fultz has only played in 33 NBA games due to scapular muscle imbalance in his right shoulder and Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The Magic exercised their fourth-year team option on Fultz for the 2020-21 season, a good sign he’s making progress in his shoulder.