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#pounditThursday, October 1, 2020

Articles tagged: Markelle Fultz

5 NBA players with the most to prove in Orlando

Zion Williamson

An evaluation of an NBA player’s legacy is one of the most volatile aspects of the league, as in some cases, all it takes is a single game or shot to define an entire career. Every NBA player is looking to prove themselves whenever they step foot on the hardwood. However, there comes the point for specific players, where proving themselves becomes a necessity.

From former number one overall picks to potential league MVPs, here are the five players with the most to prove headed into Orlando.

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Markelle Fultz ready for trash talk from former teammate Joel Embiid

Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz knows full well what the Joel Embiid experience consists of, and he is ready for it now that the two are lining up on opposite sides.

Speaking Wednesday ahead of his first regular season game against the Philadelphia 76ers since they traded him, the Orlando Magic guard joked about trash talking with Embiid.

“He’s going to be telling me to shoot it and talking trash,” said Fultz, per John Denton of the Magic’s website. “That’s what we did all the time when we were in practice together.

“I’m ready for it and I’ve got some stuff for him, too,” the former No. 1 overall pick went on. “But it should be a fun, entertaining game tonight. I’m going to talk trash regardless, no matter where we at. It just goes back to having fun.”

Embiid will not play against Orlando Wednesday due to injury maintenance for his left knee soreness, but he will almost certainly be going at it with Fultz from the bench.

Though Embiid would often stand up for Fultz when they were teammates, there should be lots of good-natured trash talk now that they are opponents.

Markelle Fultz worked out with Kobe Bryant over the summer

Markelle Fultz

Few players in the NBA have more to prove this upcoming season than Markelle Fultz, and the former top overall pick sought help from Kobe Bryant over the summer in hopes of helping him live up to his potential.

Fultz was among the players who worked out at the Mamba Sports Academy, and the training center owned by Bryant shared some photos on Instagram Thursday of Kobe and Fultz together. They were captioned “Markelle is ready. #mambamentality. #showandprove.”

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Markelle is ready. #mambamentality #showandprove

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Fultz, who was acquired by the Magic in a trade with the 76ers at the deadline last season, played in just 36 games during his time in Philly. The former Washington star did not make an appearance with Orlando last year, as he battled shoulder and wrist injuries.

Of course, the legitimacy of Fultz’s injuries has been questioned, as he seemed to be struggling with the shooting yips at one point. A video that surfaced last month appeared to show that he has improved his shooting form, so fans have something to be optimistic about. Perhaps Kobe and the Mamba Sports Academy helped Fultz with that.

Markelle Fultz expected to be full participant in training camp

Markelle Fultz

The Orlando Magic have been refusing to place a timetable on when Markelle Fultz will return, but we now know that the 21-year-old will be ready to join his teammates when training camp begins next month.

On Wednesday, Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said he expects Fultz to have no limitations when training camp starts on Oct. 1.

Fultz, who was acquired by the Magic in a trade with the 76ers at the deadline last season, played in just 36 games during his time in Philly. The former Washington star did not make an appearance with Orlando last year, as he battled shoulder and wrist injuries.

Of course, the legitimacy of Fultz’s injuries has been questioned, as he seemed to be struggling with the shooting yips at one point. A video that surfaced last month appeared to show that he has improved his shooting form, so Magic fans have something to be optimistic about with the former No. 1 overall pick.

Markelle Fultz still has no timetable for return

Markelle Fultz

The waiting game continues for Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz.

Speaking this week with Roy Perry of the Orlando Sentinel, Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said that the 21-year-old is making good progress but still has no timetable for a return.

“I’m not going to put a timetable on it, as we haven’t before,” said Weltman. “But he continues to work hard and make progress, and he’s in a good place working with the coaches and rehab guys.

“We’re not going to put timelines or expectations on how that all unfolds. It will come as it comes,” he added. “As I’ve been saying, he continues to be in a good place and get better and improve. I can’t predict exactly how that’s going to look when it unfolds, but we’re very excited about the progress he’s made.”

Fultz, who was acquired by Orlando at the February trade deadline, has made just 36 total appearances in the two years since he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick. The former Washington Huskies star has been plagued by wrist and shoulder issues (possibly in addition to the shooting yips as well) and has yet to play in a single game for the Magic.

On the bright side, video surfaced this month of Fultz with a much-improved shooting form. But it may still be a long time before we even see him take the floor for Orlando.

Watch: Markelle Fultz looks like he has improved his jump shot

Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz is hoping a fresh start with the Orlando Magic next season will help him silence a lot of his critics, but he will need to somehow find his jump shot again if he wants to make that happen. He appears to be well on his way.

Some footage of Fultz putting up shots in the gym surfaced on Wednesday, and his form looks dramatically improved. Check it out:

Hitting shots in practice is a lot different from doing it in a game, but that is certainly a start for a guy who has basically had the shooting yips through his first two NBA seasons. It will be interesting to see if he has altered his ridiculous free throw form as well.

Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Magic back in February. He has tried to attribute his shooting woes to injuries, but we know that isn’t the whole story. Perhaps he decided to take Charles Barkley’s advice this offseason.

Magic president hypes up Markelle Fultz after trade

Markelle Fultz

The Orlando Magic seem pretty hyped about their addition of Markelle Fultz.

Orlando acquired Fultz for Jonathan Simmons and two draft picks in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. Team president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman spoke about the addition after the trade was finalized and stated how much the team believes in Fultz.

Yes, Fultz may have been the No. 1 pick in 2017, but I don’t know if everyone had him listed that highly the way Weltman thinks. Danny Ainge certainly did not. Plus, the player Orlando is getting now is much different from the guy who went No. 1 two years ago.

If Fultz, in his present form, were currently available in the draft, how highly do you think he would go? That’s what the Magic are getting. At least they can be patient, but we still have our doubts.

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA trade deadline

Anthony Davis wingspan

The 2019 NBA trade deadline was an exceptionally active one with multiple big names changing teams, even if the biggest name on the market ended up staying put. That doesn’t change the fact that the action, especially in the Eastern Conference, was fast and furious, and that isn’t even factoring in the Kristaps Porzingis deal.

Here are ten big takeaways from all the moves that took place prior to Thursday’s deadline.

1. The Anthony Davis saga will drag on into the summer, and the Lakers look worse for it

It didn’t seem like the New Orleans Pelicans ever had any real intention of negotiating with the Los Angeles Lakers in good faith on an Anthony Davis trade. The Pelicans have every incentive to wait until summer to deal Davis, when they should have a wider range of interested teams. The Lakers will be disappointed, as they don’t look great publicly, seem to have muddled the minds of their young players, and may now find themselves in a situation where they can be outbid. LeBron James probably won’t be happy, either.

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Markelle Fultz traded to Orlando Magic, may not play this season

Markelle Fultz

The Philadelphia 76ers have finally punted on Markelle Fultz.

The Sixers traded Fultz to the Orlando Magic on Thursday, just beating the trade deadline.

Fultz was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 and only played in 33 games over a season and a half for the Sixers due to multiple mysterious issues. He dealt with either the yips or a shoulder injury, depending on what you choose to believe. He has been out supposedly recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome, and the Magic have decided to take a chance on him.

They traded Jonathan Simmons and two draft picks for him. The top pick is a top-20 protected first-round pick from the Thunder and a second-round pick via Cleveland. Simmons is mostly a bench player, so recouping the draft picks will be big for Philly.

NBA reporter Keith Smith says the Sixers will take caution with Fultz and that he may not play for them this season.

The Magic now have another young player to add to their core, joining Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Mo Bamba, and Evan Fournier.

Report: Markelle Fultz returning to Philadelphia for rehab

Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz’s rehab is making some progress, according to a new report.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Fultz has returned to Philadelphia to continue his rehab from thoracic outlet syndrome, and will be working out at the team’s facility with the continued aim of returning before the end of the season.

There doesn’t really appear to be any major change in status at this point. Fultz wants to return this season, but there’s no timetable for it. He’s simply rehabbing at the team facility now, which is progress in a certain sense.