Report: Markelle Fultz won’t play in games, practice until he sees shoulder specialist next week
Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz is slated to see a shoulder specialist early next week and will remain out of games and practices until he has been examined, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic. Fultz will make this move at the direction of his attorney, Raymond Brothers, who advised the 20-year-old to see the specialist in New York after the Sixers finish out a Sunday night road game against the Brooklyn Nets.
This comes at the heels of Fultz reportedly parting ways with his longtime trainer, Drew Hanlen, and the recent hitches in his free-throw form that have once again become the laughingstock of the league.
Fultz’s awkward form and painful range of motion in his shot has been the talk of the league since the former No. 1 overall pick was forced to take time off four games into his NBA debut to address his mysterious shoulder injury. The Washington product returned late in the season, but played only limited minutes, as coach Brett Brown had already lined out a rotation heading into the playoffs.
A season-finale triple-double brought hopes that he could be on the road to full health by the time this 2018-19 season started, but his lackluster play in this young campaign has proved otherwise.
Fultz’s free-throw woes have been vastly apparent, starting from awkward releases at the foul line like this one…
Fultz shoots a free throw pic.twitter.com/3sG62iyEeq
— Heart of NBA (@HeartofNBA) November 10, 2018
…to national comedy material ones like this double-clutch free throw that invoked the analogy to Charles Barkley’s golf swing.
This is worse than we have ever seen Fultz's free throw form look. pic.twitter.com/FhCYpNpd5b
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) November 13, 2018
Fultz clearly tried to fix this with help of the Sixers’ coaches, but the hot-potato routine did little to help the “yips” or whatever else is rattling his confidence at the line.
Markelle Fultz has a new free throw routine… 😶 (via hoops.takes/IG) pic.twitter.com/NA3Z2sDzTo
— Overtime (@overtime) November 17, 2018
Only time will tell if Fultz is able to shake this nightmare start to his NBA career, considering his reluctance to shoot 3-point shots through the early get-go.
Fultz was a strong 47.6 percent shooter from the field and ranked sixth in the nation in scoring during his lone year with the Huskies before declaring for the NBA. He was also a deadly marksman from beyond, connecting on 41.3 percent of his shots from long-range, but his 64.9 free-throw percentage brought some questions, which spearheaded the crusade to make him alter his release into a more effective motion.
That intent has now backfired and could be the ultimate cause of reshaping his future from an NBA star to the ultimate bust, considering Philadelphia gave up assets to trade for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Fultz has wound up shooting worse than he did in college, making only 21 of his 37 free-throw attempts this season (56.8 percent) while only making four of his 14 3-point attempts, now mired as a very reluctant 3-point shooter who’s lacking the confidence and a sound form for his jumper.