Rumor: Sixers’ Markelle Fultz likely to get Jahlil Okafor treatment, sit in limbo
The Markelle Fultz situation with the Philadelphia 76ers is looking more like a dead end by the day. The Sixers could opt to give him the infamous Jahlil Okafor treatment in the near future and sit him out indefinitely until another team is willing to break him out of basketball purgatory.
The second-year guard recently went shopping for medical specialists in New York to give him second opinions on his shoulder and wrist injuries, but it’s likely the Sixers have already mapped him out of the rotation, as T.J. McConnell has gotten plenty more run during his absence and will figure in their plans for the future.
According to John Gonzalez of The Ringer, the Sixers could deploy the Jahlil Okafor maneuver once Markelle Fultz returns to the team, hoping the band-aid holds long enough until the team can work out a feasible trade.
The consensus was that the Sixers might have to do what they did with Okafor and just not play Fultz for a while — if Fultz and his camp ever declare him fit to play in the first place. That’s not a real solution, but the Sixers only have bad options at the moment. (A team source said the Sixers expect Fultz to return at some point and fight for a role off the bench, but I’m not sure how convinced the Sixers are about that or whether they actually even want it to happen.)
Okafor fell victim to injuries early after an encouraging first season of his career, causing the Sixers to phase him out, with Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel already causing a logjam at center.
The Duke product racked up plenty of DNPs in his third season before getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets, a short-lived experiment that now has him battling for his career.
Through less than a season and a half, Markelle Fultz has been unable to play like he was expected as a top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and sadly enough, his shot to reignite his career will likely have to wait until the trade deadline at the soonest.