76ers Rumors: Markelle Fultz's Jump Shot Has Been 'Rebuilt'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers' Markelle Fultz in action during an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Monday, March 26, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

After being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz endured one of the strangest rookie seasons in recent memory because of an injury and a broken jumper.

The good news for Philadelphia fans is that he has reportedly looked like a completely different player this summer.

Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz reported Sunday that there is "palpable buzz" surrounding Fultz after the second-year player spent time working with trainer Drew Hanlen this offseason.

A shoulder injury cost Fultz five months last season and limited him to just 14 games during his first year as a pro. And while he had some bright moments as a rookie, he was not a factor in the postseason. He appeared in just three of his team's 10 playoff games, totaling just 23 minutes.

While there were concerns about his health the entire season, there was also no shortage of criticism regarding his shooting stroke. He shot just 40.5 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from the line last season.

Those subpar numbers had many declaring his shot to be broken. At the same time, the "bust" label was being thrown around.

However, Hanlen likes what he is seeing out of Fultz in their workouts, via Alex Kennedy on the HoopsHype podcast (h/t NBC Sports Philadelphia's Matt Haughton):

"What I can tell you is that he's doing very well. I think that a lot of people think that we're hiding him and we're not hiding him. We're just being very strategic in what we share because obviously, you don't want to ever add pressure to a player when you don't have to.

"Fans and the media would love to be able to witness every workout of every player that I work with, especially guys like Markelle. All I can say is that it's going really well and that we're purposely doing things just to protect him right now. But I think Philly fans will be very excited."

With Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and JJ Redick, the Sixers have the talent to be among the top contenders in the Eastern Conference now that LeBron James has moved west. If the reports coming out this summer are accurate, Fultz could soon silence his critics—and play a key role in a Sixers run at the Finals.