Despite missing most of last season with a shoulder injury, Markelle Fultz is set to be a full participant in the Orlando Magic’s training camp beginning Oct. 1, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
“We don’t have any restrictions in place right now (for Fultz) for training camp,” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Wednesday, per John Denton of the team’s official site. “… Obviously, he hasn’t been through this in a long time and it’s new terrain, but for now there are no restrictions.”
The point guard was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Magic in February but did not appear with his new team while recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome. He has played just 33 games in two seasons since being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft.
The Magic have remained patient with the 21-year-old while attempting to get him back to full strength.
“He’s so talented, but just because of the situation [with his injured shoulder], it’s just about him taking it day-by-day,” head coach Steve Clifford said earlier this month, per Denton. “Seeing how things have progressed have helped him, and that’s just the smart way to go for now.”
The fact that he is able to participate in training camp should be encouraging, although it’s good to temper expectations, considering his recent history.
Fultz had the skill set of a superstar at Washington, averaging 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game during his one collegiate season, but we haven’t seen his full abilities on display yet at the NBA level.
He discussed his future with the team Wednesday, via Denton:
“I’ve played 33 games in two years and I’m basically still a rookie. But at the same time, my mental, my body and my willingness to be coachable is more than enough. That’s going to do its job for me. I was the No. 1 pick and that says enough. I’m just going to work hard. I know I’m not going to be perfect, Coach (Steve Clifford) knows that I’m not going to be perfect & my teammates know I’m not going to be perfect. But as long as I’m working hard, I think nobody will have a problem with me.”
Orlando not only traded for him but also picked up his fourth-year option, showing the organization believes in his abilities. It will be up to Fultz to stay healthy and live up to expectations.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report