It has felt like ages since we saw Markelle Fultz dominating his opponents at the University of Washington. To be blunt, it has felt like ages since we last saw Fultz dominating opponents anywhere on the basketball floor.
The past two seasons have been tough for the former #1 pick. After having expectations hoisted on him in Philadelphia, he failed to live up to the hype early on and struggled to find his shooting stroke. Eventually, he was pulled from action entirely to nurse a mysterious shoulder injury that has kept him out since.
Truth be told, nobody really knows what to expect from Fultz anymore. After vanishing for what amounted to almost two full seasons, there is not much optimism surrounding his return this upcoming season.
Nonetheless, he could be starting for the Orlando Magic this season, according to Bleacher Report's Preston Ellis.
The 2017 No. 1 overall pick hit the trending button on Twitter this past Wednesday when the Magic announced his full availability in a team shootaround. Better still, the team said Markelle Fultz would be available for training camp without restriction.
No BS; Fultz plays 50-plus games in a bumpy but promising season.
In particular, he noted one phrase from former NBA All-Star, Caron Butler.
"This [starting point guard spot] is for Markelle Fultz to lose. DJ [Augustin] is OK with being the backup or the starter. He's in position to do both. His true value is in his willingness to do both. … I spent some time with him [Fultz] this summer. He's healthy. He's ready to go. He's going to take the league by surprise. That's my MIP."
There seems to be confident on all fronts from the Magic and from Fultz himself. Whether that confidence leads to more of the same is still something that remains to be seen. Markelle still has an awful lot to prove.
But for a guy who seemingly forgot how to shoot a basketball last season, it's the best anyone could hope for.