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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Report: Markelle Fultz switched trainers after Sixers teammate intervened

With Markelle Fultz’s future in Philadelphia looking somewhat murky, he’s taking the advice of one of his prominent teammates to try to find a better way forward.

According to Brian Jacobs of Sixers Front Office, 76ers center Joel Embiid convinced Fultz to end his relationship with trainer Keith Williams and work instead with Drew Hanlen on improving his shot. Hanlen had known and worked with Embiid, and also trains Boston Celtics youngster Jayson Tatum and many other NBA players.

It’s not clear if the relationship between Fultz and Williams is permanently over, but Hanlen is clearly working heavily with Fultz. According to the report, Fultz isn’t playing in the Summer League at Hanlen’s insistence, as the trainer believes he needs three months with Fultz to restore his muscle memory to where he wants it.

Williams had been blamed in some quarters for altering Fultz’s shot for the worse, as he struggled mightily in limited action during his rookie season. Many will probably be happy to see Fultz working with someone else as he tries to recover his best shooting form, and apparently Embiid is the one primarily responsible for the change.

Interestingly, Embiid was critical of the lack of support for Fultz while the rookie was battling back from injury. Those comments take on an added layer of meaning in light of this information.

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