The Philadelphia 76ers were dealt a lot of injury news this weekend.
2017 No. 1 NBA draft pick Markell Fultz probably isn’t happy right now. He is going through a rough transition into professional basketball.
The 76ers recently announced that their rookie point guard will be out indefinitely with soreness and scapular muscle imbalance, and that will make it tough for his right shoulder to endure the rigors of the entire season. Fultz should recover fully, but he might be too far behind his teammates to make an impact once he gets back. His free throw didn’t look too good in the early going.
The 76ers will reevaluate the situation in three weeks, and then they will assess their options from there.
Fultz is averaging 6.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 18.9 minutes per game this season. He is shooting 33 percent on field goals, 50 percent on free throws and hasn’t attempted a 3-point shot. Those are pretty awful numbers when you compare them to Lonzo Ball or Jayson Tatum.
Philadelphia is also dealing with the aftermath of Joel Embiid’s right hand contusion. If Embiid and Fultz are both out for a month, then it will be difficult for the 76ers to keep pace with other quality teams in the Eastern Conference.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Fultz sat out the rest of this season given what has happened recently with Embiid, Ben Simmons and Nerlens Noel. The 76ers are clearly content to let young players learn from the bench for a while before going up against grown men, and it’s hard to argue with their approach.
Philadelphia will be in a completely different position four weeks from now. They’ll either be a team in search of a playoff spot, or they’ll continue to be a team developing their young talent while also seeking a lottery pick. They’ll have to eventually choose a direction, but for now they seem content to stand pat.