If your team just acquired a player that had battled some combination of injuries and confidence issues, leading him to struggle mightily during his two years in the NBA — where he has played in just 33 games — would you try to keep him out of the spotlight as much as possible until he found his way, or would you release a hype video?
Here is the Orlando Magic’s Markelle Fultz hype video.
An Associated Press story by Tim Reynolds had this quote from team president Jeff Weltman:
“We’re going to remain patient,” Weltman said. “We’re not going to put expectations or timelines on his development. He hasn’t played basketball in a year. He’s played 33 games total in his career. So it’s going to unfold the way it unfolds.”
No expectations — but we will release a hype video or two.
Just a reminder because it’s that time of year: edited videos of guys working out and draining uncontested jumpers in a gym are less meaningful than a celebrity saying they will leave the country if Candidate X is elected president. Do not take them seriously. The reports out of practice were that Fultz had some nice jumpers, some that missed badly, he looked okay but his form still does not look smooth like it did at Washington.
What we do know about Fultz is that he will be all-in for Orlando’s training camp. Josh Robbins of the Athletic had this:
Fultz himself said this to the AP:
“Man, I always have joy every time I step in here no matter what’s going on,” Fultz said after his workout. “As I learned quickly, you can’t take it for granted. You never know when it’s going to get stripped away from you…
“I was the No. 1 pick for a reason,” Fultz said. “I knew that I work hard and what I can do on the basketball court. That’s all that matters.”
There are a lot of people around the league rooting for Fultz, including the Magic organization, which picked up his $12 million option for the 2020-21 season, too. Fultz is going to get his chance, this is a good Magic team but one devoid of guys who can create their own shot from the wing. Fultz has the skill set to bring that to the table.
He just has to ignore the hype and do it now.