Markelle Fultz, the Sixers first round pick in the most recent NBA draft is one of the most high-touted prospects in years. Viewed as a can’t miss player by most NBA scouts, Philly traded with the Boston Celtics to get the number one pick in the draft and make Fultz what should be the final major piece in the rebuilding process started by former general manager Sam Hinkie.
Obviously, the 76ers fan base is alive with excitement thanks to this new addition to what was already going to be an exciting young team. These fans are now slightly less excited after learning that the star prospect sprained his ankle during the 76ers summer league game against the Golden State Warriors on July 8th.
This may seem like something that is rare for a young athlete, but this hasn’t been the case in Philadelphia. The 76ers have a recent track record of injuries with their first round draft picks. This started with former Kentucky Center, Nerlens Noel, who tore his ACL and missed his first season. Joel Embiid missed his first two seasons in the league. Then, he dominated last season when got on the court only to injure his knee halfway through the season and missed the rest.
Finally, the number one pick in the 2016 draft, Ben Simmons, hurt his foot and missed his entire rookie year. This means the Sixers have three young players on their team with a ceiling and a history of injuries.
One good thing is that Fultz’s injury is not as severe as some of his rookie predecessors on the team. Doctors are saying that it is just a sprain and he should back playing again just after the end of the summer league schedule. While this isn’t ideal, it is better than missing his entire rookie year.