Markelle Fultz: ‘I Was the No. 1 Pick for a Reason’

Markelle Fultz is healthy, and confident as ever.

“I was the No. 1 pick for a reason,” Fultz told reporters Wednesday following a workout.

The Orlando Magic’s braintrust say they will “remain patient” with the 21-year-old guard acquired via trade with the Philadelphia Sixers in February.

Per The AP:

“Man, I always have joy every time I step in here no matter what’s going on,” Fultz said after his workout. “As I learned quickly, you can’t take it for granted. You never know when it’s going to get stripped away from you.”

His shot is still a work in progress. Some of his jumpers Wednesday were perfect, some rimmed out and a few took an ugly trajectory to the front of the rim. His release doesn’t appear to be the same as it was during his college season at Washington, part of the re-training he’s done to deal with his shoulder issues.

“We’re going to remain patient,” Magic President Jeff Weltman said. “We’re not going to put expectations or timelines on his development. He hasn’t played basketball in a year. He’s played 33 games total in his career. So it’s going to unfold the way it unfolds.”

His game is coming back. His confidence is still there.

“I was the No. 1 pick for a reason,” Fultz said. “I knew that I work hard and what I can do on the basketball court. That’s all that matters.”

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