Sixers want Markelle Fultz healthy, back with team

Markelle Fultz’s future in the NBA remains up in the air, but he still has the support of the 76ers.

While speaking to reporters Tuesday, new teammate Jimmy Butler denied the rumors that Fultz isn’t in Philadelphia’s long-term plans and said the team is eager for him to return once he’s healthy.

“We want Markelle to know everybody is in his corner here,” Butler said. “We want him to be great. We want him to continue to work. All of the outside noise is just want it is, noise from the outside.

“So when he’s ready to get back in here to work, we’re all for it. We need the guy.”

Fultz stepped away from Philadelphia last week to deal with his lingering shoulder injury and reports suggested he was interested in a “fresh start” with a new team.

However, the Sixers believe Fultz will return and play a role off their bench once he’s rehabilitated, though that could take some time since his shoulder exam was pushed back. It had been reported that “no decision on his next steps is expected until later in the week” at the earliest.

Fultz, 20, was selected by Philadelphia with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 draft but has battled injuries and shooting woes in his first two years.

He is averaging 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 19 games this season.

The Sixers (14-8) will next host the Knicks (7-14) at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.