Magic guard Markelle Fultz suffers season-ending knee injury

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz suffered a left knee injury with 7:35 remaining in the first quarter in yesterday’s game againt the Cleveland Cavaliers. He underwent an MRI and results revealed that Fultz has sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Fultz’s knee gave out as he planted his foot on a drive to the basket against Cleveland’s Isaac Okoro at the 7:35 mark of the opening quarter. Fultz yelled in agony as he fell to the floor, then clutched his knee and pounded the floor with his fist. He was helped off the court and taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.”

Fultz will be out the remainder of the season.

Fultz (6’4”, 209, 5/29/98) played and started in eight games with the Magic this season, averaging 12.9 ppg., 5.4 apg., 3.1 rpg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 26.9 minpg., while shooting .895 (17-19) from the free throw line.

Magic sign Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac to contract extensions

The Orlando Magic yesterday signed guard Markelle Fultz and forward Jonathan Isaac to contract extensions.

“We are thrilled to keep both Markelle (Fultz) and Jonathan (Isaac) in a Magic uniform,” said Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman. “They both have a very bright future and they mean a lot to our organization, both on and off the court.”

Per multiple reports, Fultz’s contract extension is for three years, $50 million, and Isaac’s extension is for four years, $80 million.

Fultz (6’4”, 209, 5/29/98) played in 72 games (60 starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 12.1 ppg., a team-high 5.1 apg., 3.3 rpg. and 1.25 stlpg. in 27.7 minpg. He was tied for 30th in the NBA in steals and tied for 32nd in assists. Fultz led (or tied) the team in scoring four times, in rebounding once and in assists a team-high 31 times. He scored in double figures 51 times and 20+ points six times, including a career-high 25 points on Jan. 6 vs. Brooklyn. Fultz dished out 10+ assists five times, including a career-high 14 assists on Feb. 3 @ Charlotte. He had four double-doubles and recorded his second career triple-double on Jan. 15 @ L.A. Lakers with 21 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Fultz also appeared and started in five playoff games, averaging 12.0 ppg., 5.2 apg., 2.2 rpg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 29.3 minpg.

Originally selected in the first round (first overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft by Philadelphia, Fultz has appeared in 105 career NBA regular season games (75 starts) with Philadelphia and Orlando, averaging 10.7 ppg., 4.6 apg., 3.3 rpg. and 1.13 stlpg. in 25.5 minpg. He has also played in eight career playoff games (five starts), averaging 8.1 ppg., 3.9 apg. and 1.8 rpg. in 21.3 minpg.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, “the three-year deal represents a commitment by the Magic but also gives Fultz a chance to hit unrestricted free agency in the prime of his career. He’ll be 26 when the contract expires. Isaac, meanwhile, began to emerge as one of the league’s elite defenders last season before a knee injury Jan. 1 halted his season. Isaac returned during the NBA restart and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat before sustaining an ACL tear in the same knee. He’s out for the upcoming season as he rehabs the surgically-repaired knee.”

Isaac (6’10”, 230, 10/3/97) played in 34 games (32 starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 11.9 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 1.4 apg., 2.29 blkpg. and 1.56 stlpg. in 28.8 minpg. He led (or tied) the team in scoring three times, in rebounding seven times and in assists once. Isaac scored in double figures 23 times and 20+ points four times, including a career-high 25 points on Nov. 23 @ Indiana. He had five double-doubles and pulled down 10+ rebounds six times, including a career-high-tying 13 rebounds on Nov. 20 @ Toronto. Isaac had at least one blocked shot 30 times and two-or-more blocks 23 times, including a career-high six blocked shots on Nov. 6 @ Dallas. He also had at least one steal 24 times and two-or-more steals 13 times, including a career-high seven steals on Dec. 28 @ Milwaukee.

Isaac missed 39 games last season due to injury, including 31 games (Jan. 3-Mar. 10) due to a posterior lateral corner injury/medial bone contusion of his left knee that he sustained on Jan. 1 @ Washington. He then returned during the NBA restart at Disney, but then suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament on Aug. 2 vs. Sacramento. Isaac missed the 2020 NBA Playoffs and underwent successful surgery on Aug. 7.

Originally selected in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft by Orlando, Isaac has appeared in 136 career NBA regular season games (106 starts), all with the Magic, averaging 9.3 ppg., 5.4 rpg., 1.1 apg., 1.51 blkpg. and 1.07 stlpg. in 25.8 minpg. He has also played and started in five career playoff outings, averaging 6.6 ppg., 6.2 rpg. and 1.00 blkpg. in 27.3 minpg.

Big summer ahead for Markelle Fultz

The pressure is off Markelle Fultz, for now. At least for the summer. With his question mark-filled rookie season over, now he’s got the summer months to hopefully regain full health (if he hasn’t already), figure out what that jumpshot should look like, and proceed as planned. We’re rooting for him. There have been rumblings that he might play in summer league. Tough to say what the right move is on that. For more on Fultz, here’s NBC Sports Philly reporting:

After being taken with the top overall selection in the 2017 draft, Fultz missed time throughout the summer and training camp with ankle and knee injuries.

Then came the much-publicized shoulder issue. Whether the guard changed his shooting motion because of the pain or his newfound shot mechanics caused the pain will forever be the chicken-and-egg debate among Sixers fans, but it ended up sidelining him for 68 games.

Fultz was able to finally return and play in 10 regular-season games before dipping his toe into the postseason waters. However, that was short-lived as he saw action in only the first three games of the Miami series and then took a seat on the bench.

You got all of that? Now factor in the 19-year-old had to navigate his way through all of it while hearing questions and criticism every day about whether the organization made a mistake drafting him.

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Sixers sign rookie Markelle Fultz

Sixers sign rookie Markelle Fultz

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the team has signed guard Markelle Fultz to his rookie contract. This was a mere formality, as first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to begin their NBA career right away.

“Markelle Fultz possesses elite basketball skills, instincts and talent which prompted us to move up to No. 1 and add him to our talented young core of players. At only 19 years of age, the sky is the limit for Markelle and we could not be happier to have him join our Sixers family,” Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo said.

A 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard, Fultz played one collegiate season at Washington prior to being chosen first overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by Philadelphia. He averaged team-highs of 23 points (sixth in NCAA) and six assists to go along with six rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes per game. He was just the second NCAA freshman to average 23 points, five rebounds and five assists per game since 1992-93.

Fultz was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, which has been presented annually to the outstanding collegiate basketball Player of the Year since 1976. He was selected First Team All-Pac-12 and was named an Associated Press Third Team All-American.

Fultz was a member of the 2016 Team USA Under-18 team that won the FIBA Americas World Championships last July. He was named MVP of the FIBA Americas Championships after averaging 14 points, five assists and three steals per game on 55 percent shooting from the floor.

Fultz is from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School where he was a 2016 McDonald’s All-American. In his senior season, he led DeMatha to the Maryland Private School League Championship, while setting the school’s single-season record for assists with 278.

Markelle Fultz a player to watch at Summer League

Markelle Fultz a player to watch at Summer League

One of the best uses of summer league is getting to know the top rookies. Plenty of eyes will be on Markelle Fultz, who the Sixers, after trading with the Celtics to move up in the draft, selected No. 1 overall this year.

Here’s what Fultz had to say about the summer league experience — of which the Vegas edition just began on Friday — according to CSN Philly: “Here everybody is skilled” … “Any given day people get blown by, everybody can pass you and everybody can score the ball. So, it just has to do with being more mental until you lock it in and just trusting my bigs when screens come, not looking back. It’s going to be a challenge every night coming out to guard whoever is in front of me, so that’s what I’m looking forward to.”