NBA trade deadline: Magic believe ‘sky’s the limit’ for newly acquired Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz

“Markelle Fultz was the No. 1 pick in the draft two years ago, and it wasn’t a fluke,” Magic president Jeff Weltman told reporters Thursday.

The Magic have high hopes for Markelle Fultz.

Orlando thinks the 20-year-old can still reach his potential despite his early struggles, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman told reporters Thursday shortly after the team traded for the guard.

“Markelle Fultz was the No. 1 pick in the draft two years ago, and it wasn’t a fluke,” Weltman said, via The Athletic. “I think the whole league had him there. So, we believe that, at 20 years old, the sky’s the limit for him.”

Orlando acquired Fultz from the 76ers in exchange for forward Jonathon Simmons and two draft picks.

“His ceiling is exceptionally high,” Weltman said. “I think he’s a 20-year-old player with tremendous potential and I feel confident in saying the league looks at him that way, not just us.’’

Fultz has been out since Nov. 19 and was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome in mid-December. He’s averaging 8.2 points and 3.1 assists in 19 appearances in 2018-19.

Fultz began his career with high expectations. But, he also dealt with injuries as well as a hitch in his jump shot during his rookie season, which limited him to 14 games.

“We look forward to getting him in here, getting our arms around him and understanding everything that he’s dealing with,” Weltman said. “Getting him through that, it’s our job organizationally – from the performance directors and the coaches – to put him in a spot to succeed. However long that takes, that’s how long it will take.’’

Fultz has shot just 41.4 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from 3-point range in 33 career games.

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