Philadelphia 76ers rookie guard Markelle Fultz, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is clearly injured.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, however, the problem is much worse than anyone expected even though it’s unclear if he will miss any games. His agent, Raymond Brothers, provided more details (via ESPN):
“Markelle had a shoulder injury and fluid drained out of the back of his shoulder. He literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot the basketball. He decided to try and fight through the pain to help the team. He has a great attitude. We are committed to finding a solution to get Markelle back to 100 percent.”
Fultz recently told Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer that his shoulder injury was the reason he recently changed his shooting form.
According to the report from O’Connor, the Philadelphia rookie “couldn’t recall” when he first started feeling the pain. Brett Brown, the head coach for the Sixers, said it was clear that Fultz’s “shoulder is affecting him” more than he is showing.
Brown also said he doesn’t think Fultz will develop bad shooting habits based on the recent struggles.
During the preseason, the No. 1 pick missed significant time due to both knee and shoulder ailments. This forced him to come off the bench to start off his first professional season, though it’s unclear why he’s playing if his injury is this bad.