Magic coach Steve Clifford says not to expect Markelle Fultz on court this season

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Markelle Fultz is going to get a fresh start in Orlando…

Next season.

Fultz hasn’t stepped on an NBA court since before Thanksgiving, and after seeing a number of specialists, he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. He has been rehabbing all season.

When the Sixers traded him to Orlando at the deadline, it was a chance at a fresh start. Orlando is a smaller market, the team isn’t in a “win now” mode, and the former No. 1 pick would have time to both get his shot right and make mistakes on the court without them ending up all over NBA Twitter. Orlando is a nearly perfect market for his comeback.

Just don’t expect to see that comeback this season, Orlando coach Steve Clifford said on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

“He’s still rehabbing his shoulder and he’s not even able to really do much on the floor yet. It’s a pretty significant shoulder injury. I would say he’s starting to do a little bit, but it would be very difficult for him to get back this year.”

The Magic are right to take this slow. They need to both get him healthy and build up his confidence. Let him rehab and work out all summer, then come at this fresh next season. This is a low-risk gamble by the Magic and they need to be patient and let it just play out.