NBA rumors: Markelle Fultz signs surprisingly high-paying extension with Orlando Magic

Adam Hermann
·2 min read

Fultz gets seriously paid in extension with Magic originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

If you're a Sixers fan who swore off thinking about Markelle Fultz once he was traded to the Magic, you're never going to guess how much the 22-year-old former first overall pick is going to be paid starting in 2021.

Seriously, you're not going to guess.

Because it's $50 million over three years.

Fultz reportedly signed the three-year, $50 million extension with the Magic on Monday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, less than two years after the Sixers offloaded Fultz just so the beleaguered youngster could move on from a nightmarish stint in Philadelphia.

The shoulder injuries, the yips, the toxic environment - the Fultz situation in Philadelphia had everything, and it all went wrong.

Which is why the idea that an NBA basketball team would pay Fultz $50 million to play basketball is head-spinning if you weren't watching the Magic last season. (And don't worry, not many people watched the Magic last season.)

But here's one big reason why Fultz is getting paid:

Fultz finished last season with a true shooting percentage of 51.4%, higher than highly-regarded Nets youngster Caris LeVert (51.1%), higher than enthralling Portland point guard prospect Anfernee Simons (50.0%), and just a smidge lower than Victor Oladipo (51.6%) and Eric Gordon (51.7%).

Those are all basketball players who, if they signed three-year, $50 million extensions tomorrow, wouldn't turn any heads with the news. These days, NBA players get paid. That's the way it is.

Here are two more reasons Fultz got paid:

He raised his free throw percentage significantly, from 53.4% over two years with the Sixers to 73.0% in Orlando. 

His assist percentage - the percent of teammate FGs he assisted while on the floor - was 29.0%, and ranked 29th in the league, one spot behind Jrue Holiday, two spots ahead of Jimmy Butler, and four spots ahead of Fred VanVleet. (Oh, and just 10 spots behind Ben Simmons.)

Fultz's game still has glaring holes, like his 26.7% three-point shooting or his defensive contributions (he was a minus-7 net rating player last season) but Fultz has quietly turned into a... moderately useful NBA player?

It's fascinating. And, after all the ugliness to start his career, it's honestly nice to see Fultz get paid.

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