At the direction of agent and attorney Raymond Brothers, Sixers point guard Markelle Fultz is scheduled to visit a shoulder specialist in New York within the next week, per David Aldridge and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links). Brothers tells Aldridge that Fultz won’t participate in practices or games until after the specialist has had the opportunity to evaluate him.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Fultz missed nearly all of his rookie season last year, in large part due to ongoing shoulder issues. While the young guard has appeared healthy this season, he has continued to struggle with his shot, inadvertently creating viral highlights due to unusual hitches in his shooting form — even on free throws.
It’s not clear whether Fultz’s shooting problems are primarily physical or mental, but either way, he has struggled to make an impact early in his NBA career, averaging just 7.7 PPG, 3.4 APG, and 3.4 RPG with a .414/.267/.534 shooting line in 33 games (20.6 MPG).
Although he was a starter for Philadelphia for the first 15 games of the team’s 2018/19 campaign, Fultz has moved to the bench since the Sixers acquired Jimmy Butler. The 20-year-old played a season-low seven minutes in Monday’s win over the Suns, ceding playing time to T.J. McConnell.
As Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com relays, head coach Brett Brown declined to commit after the game to Fultz or McConnell as his backup point guard going forward. However, based on Aldridge’s report, it sounds like McConnell will take over that role, at least for the time being.