Sixers’ Fultz to see shoulder specialist, miss more time

Markelle Fultz of the Sixers has moved back to a reserve role after the trade for Jimmy Butler.

The ongoing Markelle Fultz saga has taken another turn.

The 2017 No. 1 overall pick started the season in the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting lineup, playing about 25 minutes per game. But following the trade for Jimmy Butler, Fultz went to the bench, replaced by J.J. Redick in the starting role.

Monday night in a win over the Phoenix Suns, Fultz played seven minutes, and did not appear in the second half.

Now, he won’t play at all.

According to David Aldridge of The Athletic, Fultz will see a shoulder specialist early next week and will not participate in team practices or games until after the specialist has had a chance to evaluate him.

When asked why the team went with T.J. McConnell as the backup point guard over Fultz in the Monday’s game, Sixers coach Brett Brown suggested the team was flat and looking for a spark that McConnell could potentially provide.

When pressed if this was going to be his decision moving forward, Brown was non-committal.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Just when I think it through deeper and look at tape and see who we’re playing, the next opponent, all those things I should do.”

Either way, it’s another bizarre twist this season for Fultz.

Back on Nov. 4, Fultz’s offseason trainer, who he has since cut ties with, Drew Hanlen tweeted (and then deleted) that Fultz was”still not healthy.” Then on Nov. 6, Fultz was asked if he was healthy and said, “For sure. I mean, nobody is ever 100 percent healthy in this game.”

Fultz is shooting just 41.9 percent from the floor, 56.8 percent from the free-throw line, and 28.6 percent from 3-point range. He hasn’t attempted a three since Oct 30.

At this point, it seems fair to ask if his time in Philly be coming to an end.