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Has any NBA player had a worse rookie season that the 76'ers Markelle Fultz? I'm sure there have been some, but none come to mind right now.

Fultz only played in 14 games during the regular season, and participated (barely) in three playoff games. His shooting from everywhere became horrendous and difficult to watch. Now we find out Philadelphia tried to trade him prior to this year's draft.

Various sources have reported that Philly offered Markelle and picks #10 and #26 for a shot in the top-5. No team obviously jumped at the chance. Can you blame them?

Some reports indicate Markelle's shooting woes are mental. Others propose an injury as the cause. A third group say it is a combination of both. So now we are discussing trading last year's overall-first pick, a lottery pick and the 26th spot for a top-5 choice.


You have to feel bad for this kid. Think of this. Would you rather have Markelle or a Jayson Tatum/King's first rounder package, particularly if Jayson becomes an All-Star this season and the Sacramento pick becomes #2? Philadelphia (and other NBA teams) may never deal with Danny Ainge again. This is how Philly.com"s Keith Pompey sees the dilemma facing the 76'ers:

But it’s hard to get equal value in return for trading someone relearning how to shoot. The Sixers know that. They also know that if things do come together, Fultz will be a special player. He has the potential to become the type of player they would regret trading away.

I know the 76'ers are Celtics' rivals, but I am rooting for this young man - on another team. There is something wrong in Philly-Land. They draft players that sit out a year or two with injuries before ever playing a game in the NBA, and then they draft an uninjured Fultz who promptly acquires an injury that derails his entire rookie season.

I wrote previously in CelticsLife about Markelle's broken shot and my thoughts on the reasons for it. He had a shoulder injury and there is zero chance of properly shooting a basketball until it is fixed. It appears the injury is fixed but the shot is still a work in progress. There will be no Summer League for Markelle this year, which is a good thing. Very few doubt his talent or potential in the NBA. He just needs a different environment.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Yong Kim

Tom Lane 6/25/2018 10:54:00 AM Edit
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