It has been nearly five months since the Magic acquired Markelle Fultz in a deadline deal with the 76ers, but Orlando still isn’t sure when the former No. 1 pick will suit up for the team. As GM John Hammond recently explained during an appearance on 96.9 The Game (hat tip to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports), it won’t happen in next month’s Summer League.
“He will not play in Summer League with us,” Hammond said. “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.”
Hammond went on to say that Fultz – who was diagnosed last season with thoracic outlet syndrome – has been working “extremely hard” and is in “great shape,” with the Magic hoping he makes his debut for the team sooner rather than later.
“We want to have patience with him and get him ready and put him on the court when he can be most productive,” Hammond added.
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- The Magic will face difficult decisions on their top two free agents, Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who points out that bringing back both players could limit both the team’s long-term flexibility and its ceiling. In a separate story, Robbins examines the Magic’s cap situation for this summer, observing that the team won’t have any cap room if it brings back either one of Vucevic or Ross.
- As he considers whether or not to retire, longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem posted an Instagram message asking for support from fans rather than criticism from those who feel as if he shouldn’t occupy one of the club’s 15 roster spots.
- Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer believes the Hornets made a mistake by drafting Jalen McDaniels with the No. 52 pick last Thursday night. McDaniels has been sued by two former female high school classmates who claim that he recorded them without their consent while they were performing sexual acts. At the very least, the club needs to explain to its fans why it was willing to overlook that, Fowler argues.