The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has been out for some time for the Philadelphia 76ers after developing a mysterious scapular shoulder issue. Fultz last played on Oct. 23, and the nature of his injury has fans asking whether Danny Ainge is some sort of super genius for “scamming” the Sixers by trading them the No. 1 pick.
Yes, we’ve reached tinfoil hat time and it’s only January.
Meanwhile, Fultz was in practice again on Sunday with doors open to reporters. We got yet another look at his jumper, which still looks filled with trepidation. Sixers coach Brett Brown also addressed the media, telling them that Fultz wasn’t 100% yet but was getting better.
Brown also said that in order to play Fultz didn’t need to be completely ready to go:
That’s an interesting way to put it. Brown elaborated more on Fultz’s free throw and health to Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice.
Via Philly Voice:
“How would I assess where his shot is currently at? It’s not where it used to be,” said Brown. “It’s not where it used to be. His free-throw I think is, but some of the longer shots and the rise-ups are not, and that’s just part of him getting through this progressive adjustment, trying to figure out the injury going forward.”
“I think what he needs to be is able to shoot a basketball. I don’t know what percent we’re going to apply that comment, but he needs to feel he can go and shoot a basketball,” said Brown. “To just render it that the free throw is pretty good, and it is, and to only go that far without talking about some of the other pieces, is not what we are looking at, and I know he isn’t looking at that.”
The situation isn’t going to get any easier for the team or for Fultz himself, as the complete loss of shooting form from the No. 1 overall pick is always going to draw attention. It’s getting worse of course, as fans start to grumble about Fultz’s progress.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, and if the situation can be rectified in time for Fultz to return and make a meaningful contribution to a team pushing for a playoff spot.