Rosala: Sixers' Fultz and Cavs would likely be good match
Philadelphia 76ers former first round pick Markelle Fultz has had a rocky start to his NBA career. Entering the league in 2017, Fultz has been in the news a lot, but not for the right reasons.
The 6-foot-4 guard has been troubled with injuries, and what others have called the yips. Fultz, who left college after his freshmen year, averaged just more than 23 points a game while shooting 47 percent from the field, and 41 percent on 3-pointers at Washington.
Fultz's time in Philadelphia has been mysterious in a number of ways. More time has been spent on the bench, with a trainer or in the trainer's room than on the court. Fultz has mentioned that an injury did not allow him to go through certain paths for him to shoot a ball.
While recovering from his injury, and shoulder problems, Fultz was working with a trainer who was not affiliated with the Sixers, and changed his shooting mechanics. Current and former teammates have mentioned a ‘mental block’ for Fultz when it comes to shooting.
During his time off the court Fultz was seen working with Sixers assistant coach Billy Lange. While working with Lange, Fultz was able to regain confidence and finally came back to the court toward the end of his rookie season.
Fultz is the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. He ended his rookie season with 14 games played, averaging 7 points in 18 minutes. He shot 40 percent from the field, but in those 14 games, he only attempted one three.
Fultz displayed the athletic ability in college, and in the pros, to warrant being the first overall pick. What Fultz has not shown is the ability to score, and shoot like he did in college.
Fultz who is only 20-years old and trying to figure out his career in the limelight of a big city, and on a team contending for a championship. He is surrounded by superstar players such as Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler. Fultz’s confidence could diminish quickly with the scrutiny from players, and media members who are glued to the situation.
A change of scenery could end up being the best thing for Fultz, especially by playing for a team that isn’t contending for the playoffs. And a team that is willing to develop young talent and take a chance on a former top prospect.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in full rebuild mode, with All-Star forward Kevin Love likely out until January. Also, swingman J.R. Smith was sent home until the Cavs finds a trade partner or reach a buyout.
The Cavaliers have the ability to take on the project such as Fultz, giving him time to work on the mental and physical side of his basketball issues. The Cavs could give the young man a new lease on his NBA life, and be a team that is more than willing to tap into his unfulfilled potential.