Markelle Fultz has played just 33 games, the most recent one in November, since the 76ers drafted him No. 1 overall in 2017. Philadelphia traded him to the Magic in February, and he didn’t play at all for Orlando last season.
When will Fultz return?
Magic general manager John Hammond on 96.9 The Game:
He will not play in summer league with us. We didn’t think there was any way that he was going to do that. We didn’t plan on him doing that. So, probably not the place for him right now.
But overall, I can just say that he’s doing well.
He’s working extremely hard. He’s in good shape. His weight is good. His overall body-fat percentage is very good. So, if you look at him, you say, “Wow, he looks great.” So, it’s just a matter of him just continuing to get more comfortable, continuing for him to get himself in a position where he’s ready to step on the floor and help us.
And look, we have no idea when that’s going to be. We’re hoping much, much sooner than later. But once again, we’re trying to do this the best we can, and that’s have that word of patience.
We want to have patience with him and get him ready and put him on the court when he can be most productive.
Patience is probably the right approach, because I don’t know an alternative. But I’m also not sure where patience gets anyone.
Fultz’s issues run so deep. It doesn’t appear time is solving anything. Does Fultz have a long-term injury that’s actually healing? Does he have a mental block that’s actually being addressed? It’d be nice to see some signs of progress.
Unfortunately, that won’t happen in summer league. The next opportunity for Fultz to publicly display his ability will likely be training camp.
But the way this has gone, I have no expectations of Fultz being ready for that, either.