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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Markelle Fultz’s availability for Summer League uncertain

Those hoping for more clarity on Markelle Fultz’s situation may not be getting it during NBA Summer League next month.

Addressing reporters on Monday, Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown, who is also serving as the team’s interim general manager in the wake of Bryan Colangelo’s departure, spoke on Fultz. Brown indicated that the 20-year-old guard’s availability for Summer League was uncertain, saying that no decision had been made yet on his participation, per Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.

Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, had a bizarre rookie campaign to say the very least. He missed all but 14 games in the regular season with a shoulder issue and created alarm with a hideous new jump-shooting form. Questions about if his shooting woes were the result of the injury, a mental block, a dramatic reworking of his shot, or some combination of the above remained largely unanswered, even after Fultz returned to the lineup in time for a handful of Sixers playoff games. He finished the year with averages of 7.1 points and 3.8 assists per game on just 40.5 percent from the field.

Summer League could potentially provide an opportunity for Fultz to gain his confidence back against lesser competition — he did average 16.0 points per game in three contests there last year until an ankle injury cut his outing short. But a poor showing in the July competition could set Fultz back even further, which has to be a very real concern for Philly.

Regardless of what the Sixers choose to do with Fultz in this year’s Summer League, they will likely continue to face scrunity for it. Even one of their star players is not entirely pleased with the way that Fultz has been handled.

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