Sixers unsure if Markelle Fultz returns this season as rookie's strange saga continues

Markelle Fultz hasn't played since Oct. 23, and at this point, the Philadelphia 76ers aren't sure if he'll come back at all this season.

Fultz's injured shoulder and broken shooting motion has been well documented as one of the strangest NBA stories in years. And somehow, it just continues to get more bizarre. 

Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in last summer's draft, was declared free of shoulder pain nearly two months ago, and back in early January he was cleared to begin the final stage of his return to play protocol. It seemed the Sixers had settled things down after all the craziness back in the early part of the season, and that Fultz would soon be back in a Sixers uniform.

Yet he has still not made it onto the court, and GM Bryan Colangelo's strange press conference on Friday morning did not give anyone confidence that the team has a handle on the situation. 

At one point, Colangelo said that Fultz's range was "in the paint," which is not the description of someone who is confident in their shooting ability. 

When asked about when Fultz may return, Colangelo said it could either be soon, or not at all. "We don't know," he finally declared.

Eventually, Colangelo simply cut the press conference short, and walked off, refusing to give an update on the timeline for Fultz. 

Great stuff!

Frankly, it is mind-boggling how poorly the Sixers continue to handle this situation. Yes, it is obviously a very difficult and, at times, confusing situation. They can't control Fultz's health or how quickly he can remake his shot. 

But at the same time, it seems they are never quite on the same page as an organization, and continually make negative comments about Fultz in the press when he's clearly dealing with a lack of confidence in his shot. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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