After trading for the number 1 pick, the Philadelphia 76ers looked promising coming into the season and for years to come. Markelle Fultz, in particular, had high expectations. He is an athletic point guard with great physical tools. Additionally, he had one of the most polished skill sets out of everyone in this year’s draft.
His jumper was a key part towards his college success. His 1.021 points per dribble jump shot in the half court ranked in the 88th percentile among all college players, and his 1.133 points per catch-and-shoot jump shot in the half court was in the 93rd percentile, per Synergy Sports.
However, this summer, Markelle decided to alter his shooting form, particularly his free throw form, where he shot a below-average 65% in college. His initial change lowered his release point slightly while showing further release point from his body. Per DraftExpress:
While this initially caused panic for Sixers fans and everyone across the world, what actually tipped the iceberg was another change in form during the start of preseason.
What in the world is going on with Fultz and his free-throws?
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) October 18, 2017
Here we see Markelle start from the traditional shoulder level and not letting the ball start from his waist. The ball is still a bit further away from his body, and it is unknown whether this makes it “easier” on his body. Fans across the world responded negatively and harshly after seeing this during NBA Preseason. An NBA executive even responded with “Honestly, I don’t know where to start. “This is mind-boggling. Who in the world told him to do anything like that?
Recently, a pull-up jumper was shown of Markelle during a regular season game.
The Sixers are playing this off as a right shoulder injury, which doesn’t allow Markelle to shoot the ball properly. However, with their recent history of injuries, it just doesn’t quite make sense for Markelle to play while injured. Thoughts?