The Sixers will officially not be sitting the #1 overall pick for the second season in a row. After a 68-game absence due to a shoulder injury, point guard Markelle Fultz will be available in Monday’s contest against the Denver Nuggets.
Some have accused Fultz of hiding while other rookies chosen later than him in the draft have had great success. The fact of the matter is that this season has been an all-around showcase of the famed “process” in Philly. They’ve had great fortune, if it can be called that, to have a top-5 pick in the last 4 drafts. The three foundational players, Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid, have each come from that, and Fultz is the only player to have any playing time in his first season. Injuries aren’t predictable, but the Sixers have used these injuries to turn a “lost” season into a growing experience and a transitional year. It’s worked wonders with Embiid and Simmons, hopefully they’ll see a similar result with Fultz.
Coach Brett Brown made it clear that decision to return was all up to Fultz.
“It was [Fultz]’s decision,” Brown said. “It’s been fluid and I get goose bumps telling you all that. I’m so proud of him. The people around him have done great things and I give that kid credit.”
The Sixers clinched a Playoff berth this last week, and Fultz’s decision to return will give them more depth moving forward.