- Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
- Markelle Fultz once again forgot how to shoot.
- While taking free throws on Monday night, Fultz’s disjointed form was jarring for fans who had thought he had made some progress through the offseason.
- With Jimmy Butler now heading to Philadelphia and the 76ers in need of better shooting on the court, it remains to be seen how Fultz will fit into the team’s plans.
Markelle Fultz is one of the most puzzling NBA players in recent memory.
The first overall draft pick in 2017, Fultz joined the 76ers after Philadelphia traded up to get him, and almost immediately forgot how to shoot.
Rumors of injury or a bad case of the yips circled Fultz as Philadelphia fans dissected tapes of him taking shots in the gym, but the free-flowing game that had made Fultz the consensus top player in the draft had all but disappeared.
Heading into the 2018-19 season, 76ers fans had high hopes that the old Fultz would re-establish himself and provide a spark for the team. He was inserted into the starting lineup, and while his shooting still wasn’t great, the home crowd celebrated each one of his makes as if it was a game-winning bucket.
But on Monday night, with the 76ers facing the Miami Heat, Fultz’s yips once again came to the forefront, with a trio of ugly free throws. Standing at the line, Fultz’s attempts look hesitant, as if he’s never played basketball before and is unsure as to whether or not scoring would be good for his side.
This is worse than we have ever seen Fultz's free throw form look. pic.twitter.com/FhCYpNpd5b
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) November 13, 2018
The hitch in his form looks uncomfortable and quickly drew comparisons on Twitter to Charles Barkley’s infamously disjointed golf swing.
Beyond just his shooting form, Fultz has also once again shied away from the three-point line, having not attempted a triple in his past seven games. With the 76ers shipping away both Robert Covington and Dario Saric as a part of the package to bring Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia, Butler and J.J. Redick are left as, essentially, the only deep threats on the roster.
The 76ers have a lot of decisions to make now that they’ve officially made the jump from playing for picks to playing for titles.
While it’s just one especially bad clip that has once again caught the attention of NBA fans who are still wondering just how it all went wrong for Fultz in the first place, should his shooting continue to regress, it will be interesting to see how he fits into the 76ers plan moving forward.