Orlando Magic exercise Markelle Fultz’s $12.4M option for 2020-21, report says

Although Fultz is a former No. 1 overall pick by the 76ers, he has played in only 33 career regular season NBA games over two seasons.

The Magic on Monday exercised the option on Markelle Fultz’s contract for the 2020-21 season, ESPN.com reported.

Picking up the option, worth $12.3 million, according to Spotrac.com, appears to be an act of faith by the Magic. Although Fultz is a former No. 1 overall pick by the 76ers in 2017, he has played in only 33 career regular season NBA games over two seasons.

He is slated to be paid just less than $10 million in the third season of his rookie contract.

Dubbing the move “a meaningful decision,” ESPN noted that D.J. Augustin, the Magic’s starting point guard, is entering the last year of his current contract.

Conflicting statements about Fultz’s health and poor production were a source of conflict with the 76ers, with whom he experienced well-chronicled struggles with his shot.

In November, his agent announced that Fultz would not participate in practice or play games until a shoulder injury was evaluated. He subsequently was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and was traded to the Magic in February for Jonathon Simmons and two draft picks.

Fultz, 21, has yet to play for the Magic, who opted to shut him down after the acquisition because coach Steve Clifford said the injury was “very serious.”

In 33 games (15 starts) with the 76ers, Fultz averaged 7.7 points, 3.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 20.6 minutes per game.

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