76ers GM says Fultz rumors are 'just noise'
Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand evidently hopes to slow the rumor mill regarding Markelle Fultz's injury situation and future with the team.
"Our sole focus with Markelle right now is his health. We hope to know more in the coming days, but the priority is helping him," Brand told The Athletic's Michael Lee. "Anything else you may see or hear out there is just noise.”
Fultz's legal and professional representative, Raymond Brothers, released a statement last week announcing his client would not practice or play until he saw a shoulder specialist in New York City. The declaration caught the youngster's head coach and general manager off guard; neither Brett Brown nor Brand appeared to be aware Fultz was dealing with a shoulder injury.
Additional reports indicated Fultz was also dealing with a wrist injury and was hoping for a fresh start with another team as the Sixers reportedly did not see him as part of their long-term plans. Brothers denied Fultz was seeking a trade.
Fultz has started in 15 of his 19 outings to date but has largely struggled to find his touch on offense. Playing 22.5 minutes a night, the 20-year-old is averaging 8.2 points on 41.9 percent shooting from the floor, 28.6 percent from 3-point range, and 56.8 percent from the free-throw line.
The 2017 No. 1 pick was held to just 7:05 of game time in his most recent appearance on Nov. 19 versus the Phoenix Suns, being passed over for T.J. McConnell in the Sizers' second-half point guard rotation. Brown would not commit to either Fultz or McConnell as the team's primary backup point guard moving forward.