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Markelle Fultz’s progression a bright spot in an otherwise lack luster Sixers off season.

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Lets be real, the Sixers off season has been a tad underwhelming so far. With LeBron heading to the Lakers, who in my opinion never seriously considered going to the Sixers as reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, and the Kawhi trade talks at a stalemate it seems as if the biggest move the Sixers made this off season was signing 11-year veteran J.J. Redick to a one-year $13 million contract.

Paul George also shook up free agency by resigning with the Oklahoma City Thunder and returning next year to play with the 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. Also, I think I’d rather have the LaMelo from the Ball family than the Melo who shot a career worst in FG%, FT%, and also assists in OKC last year. So what exactly should the Sixers fan base be excited about going into next year? Why, none other than the number one overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz.

Fultz played 25 games at the University of Washington where he averaged a PAC-12 high in scoring (25.6 ppg) and also led his team in assists (5.7) and minutes played (35.7). Despite the Washington Huskies dismal record of 9-22 and missing the NCAA tournament Fultz showed the world his incredible athleticism and and was strongly considered the consensual number one overall draft pick for 2017. In a somewhat untimely manner however Fultz decided to alter his jump shot leading up to the draft with his trainer Keith Williams. What would unfold after this alteration would send Sixers twitter off the edge of a cliff and callout former GM and collar enthusiast Eric Jr… er I mean Bryan Colangelo and the team for their lack of transparency as to what was really going on with the Sixers newest piece of the process.

Fultz was named to the First-team All-Pac-12 and Third-team All-American.

Fultz’s rookie season was one of the most bizarre things we’ve seen in the NBA in quite sometime. The 20-year-old former Washington Husky played only 14 games during his rookie campaign. Despite Fultz being the youngest player ever to post a triple-double (19), it seemed as if Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge had pulled off another robbery by drafting Jayson Tatum with the Sixers’ 3rd overall pick who had a fantastic year and placed third in voting for Rookie of the Year.

Sixers fans were kept in the dark by the team’s medical staff during the guards 68 game hiatus. Rumors had been swirling of Fultz having an apparent shoulder injury or just simply having the yips sending Sixers fans into a frenzy and finding videos online of Fultz shooting with a hitched jumper. It would later be confirmed by Drew Hanlen that Fultz did indeed have a severe case of the yips.

While Fultz showed the kind of star potential he had by posting a triple-double against the Milwaukee Bucks and leading the Sixers to a franchise-record 16th straight win it seems as if most fans have already given up on the 20-year-old. Fultz, however, has been busy this off season perfecting his shot with NBA skills coach and consultant Drew Hanlen. Hanlen, tweeted out ” Sixers fans… Get excited!” referring to the progress Fultz has shown in his shooting.

Fultz is far more valuable to the Sixers future than packaging him in a deal for a one-year rental of Kawhi Leonard. While Head Coach and current interim GM Brett Brown stated the Sixers will be “star hunting” the Sixers should not mortgage their future and undo all the good The Process has done over the past 4 seasons. The dangerous and young trio of Fultz, Embiid, and Simmons will run roughshod over the wide open Eastern Conference for years to come. The Sixers shall remain patient and buy into Fultz’s mantra and be faithful to the grind.

Name a more iconic trio… I’ll wait…

 

 

 

 

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About Darrien Null

Hometown: Strasburg, PA. Contributor for Sixers Lead. Twitter: @DNull95

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