Reports: Sixers' Fultz to see shoulder specialists this week
From NBA media reports
Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz was originally set to see a specialist for his shoulder injury on Monday. However, it seems Fultz will see more than just one doctor about his current injury.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Keith Pompey, Fultz will be seeing several specialists this week about the shoulder injury. Last week, news came out that Fultz will sit out all team practices and games until he receives an evaluation on his shoulder from a non-team specialist.
Per Wojnarowski, examinations of Fultz’s right shoulder will last through Wednesday in New York and no decision on his next steps will be known until later in the week. Fultz’s agent and attorney, Raymond Brothers, told the Sixers that Fultz would seek further opinions on his shoulder before returning to the court. Per Wojnarowski, that decision has been left to Fultz and his representatives.
Brothers said last week that Fultz would not practice or play until he saw a shoulder specialist. He also told ESPN last week that he has not requested a trade from the 76ers on behalf of his client. Per Pompey, some sources have said that, despite the team’s statements, Fultz is no longer in the Sixers’ long-term plans.
Last Wednesday, The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, Derek Bodner and Sam Amick reported that Fultz is dealing with a wrist injury on top of the shoulder woes. In addition, The Athletic also reported that Fultz would “prefer a fresh start with a new team” as he works through these latest round of issues.
Fultz has missed his last three games and has not played or practiced since Tuesday when his agent announced that the top pick in the 2017 NBA draft would be seeing a specialist in New York. The 20-year-old is averaging 8.2 points in 19 games this season. He was on the bench for the Sixers’ last two home games, a 121-120 home win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 21 and a 121-112 home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 23.
Fultz was the starting shooting guard for the first 15 games of the season before the Sixers acquired Jimmy Butler. Since the trade, J.J. Redick moved into the starting lineup and Fultz’s playing time dwindled to a season-low of seven minutes against the Phoenix Suns last Monday.
After that game, when questioned about his decision to turn to T.J. McConnell over Fultz during the second half, coach Brett Brown didn’t commit to either player as his backup point guard. Per Wojnarowski, though, the Sixers have stopped listening to trade overtures for McConnell. That seems to reflect that the organization knows it will be leaning more heavily on him now. McConnell can become a free agent next summer. Fultz is under contract until at least 2019-20, when his team option can exercised before the 2020-21 season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.