Markelle Fultz, the former No. 1 pick banished from Philadelphia in favor of sunny and commercialized Central Florida, has had a quiet few months of rehabilitation. After Fultz finished up some shoulder work in California and crashed his new teammates’ party on the way to the playoffs, it seemed like he would maybe, possibly be on his way back toward the normalcy of being an NBA player.
Yeah, about that—here’s Magic general manager John Hammond, talking to Orlando radio station 96.9 The Game on Monday:
So, it’s just a matter of him just continuing to get more comfortable, continuing for him to get himself in a position where he’s ready to step on the floor and help us. And look, we have no idea when that’s going to be.
It is not particularly encouraging that the GM has no timetable on when Fultz might possibly return to the NBA floor, a place he has only stepped on 33 times in his career as an honest-to-goodness active player. Hammond went on to give some mildly encouraging updates on Fultz’s rehab process, which essentially boiled down to “well, he’s not completely broken just yet.”
He will not play in summer league with us. We didn’t think there was any way that he was going to do that. We didn’t plan on him doing that. So, probably not the place for him right now.
But overall, I can just say that he’s doing well.
He’s working extremely hard. He’s in good shape. His weight is good. His overall body-fat percentage is very good. So, if you look at him, you say, “Wow, he looks great.”
When the 76ers drafted Fultz first in 2017, it was safe to assume that they expected more from their investment than a body-fat percentage king. Now it is the Magic’s duty to either cut bait and put a merciful end to Fultz’s comeback attempts, or to keep on chugging in hopes that whatever star player is hidden within will finally poke his head out. Just don’t expect that at Summer League.