Markelle Fultz.

Markelle Fultz will start on the bench for the Philadelphia 76ers this season

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Football News

Markelle Fultz's career with the Philadelphia 76ers has not got off to the best of starts as shoulder and knee injuries limited his time on the court in the pre-season.

In the time he has spent on the court, the number one overall pick has struggled to shoot the ball and get into any sort of rhythm.

Fultz also changed his free-throw routine in an attempt to hit a better percentage but his form looked completely off.

“I am feeling better and that is all I can ask for,” Fultz said after Sunday’s practice. “The treatment I have been getting has helped me and I am feeling good.”

However, all of this has led to head coach Brett Brown deciding that it would be best for the 19-year-old to begin the season coming off the bench, according to Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports.

Having spent little time on the floor with the rest of the Sixers starters, the move makes sense for Brown.

It's extremely rare for top draft picks to not assume starting positions but with Ben Simmons set for his rookie campaign and expected to take on ball-handling responsibilities, Philly can afford to ease Fultz in.

2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors

"He hasn't played much basketball in pre-season," Brown said, per Camerato. "He's been ruled out for a while. He hasn't been with our group.

"I think the decision like, do you put him into the fire right away and have him play against starting NBA defensive players, especially with the little foundation that he has, I don't think that's smart."

Having taken patient approaches with injuries to Simmons and Joel Embiid in recent years, Philadelphia prefers to focus on the big picture and give their youngsters enough time to develop and get healthy.

With Simmons chosen as the team's designated point guard, it will also be easier for Fultz to be the playmaker in the second unit and play more minutes with the ball in his hands.

2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors

But this move by the head coach shouldn't be a knock on the Washington product as he is certain to be thrust into the starting lineup as soon as he overcomes his health issues and adjusts to the league.

The team has extremely high hopes for him and expect him to play a huge part in their bid to make the playoffs and become a winning franchise again.

Philly will begin their campaign with a tough trip to face the Washington Wizards on October 18.

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers
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