Aaron Gordon thinks Markelle Fultz can be an impact player for the Magic.
Fultz has yet to play for Orlando after the team acquired him from the 76ers in early February in exchange for Jonathon Simmons and two draft picks. But, Gordon believes the 21-year-old guard has a chance to be a difference maker.
“(Fultz) is a sleeper,” Gordon said during a recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio. “If he wakes up and if he’s awake and woken up, he’s a monster. A monster. People are sleeping on him. That’s what I mean by, ‘He’s a sleeper.’ People are sleeping on him. He’s going to be huge for our team.”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 30, 2019
Fultz began his career with high expectations after he was selected by the 76ers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft. But, he has dealt with injuries and a hitch in his jump shot over the last two seasons, which have limited him to 33 total games.
“(Fultz’s) working hard, he’s made great progress,” Magic coach Steve Clifford told SiriusXM earlier this month. “You know, right now we don’t have a timetable for when he’ll be back, but he’s really doing a great job.”
“We don’t have a timetable for when he’ll be back, but he’s really doing a good job.” @OrlandoMagic HC Steve Clifford gives @TermineRadio and @Jumpshot8 the latest on Markelle Fultz pic.twitter.com/N8gTv7rh3j
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 15, 2019
Fultz said in March he’s focusing on getting 100% healthy.
“Get right, and everything will take care of itself,” Fultz told The Athletic at the time. “Nobody here is rushing me. Everybody here is just open to me getting right and healthy first.”
The Magic finished last season with a 42-40 record and made the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12. They fell to the Raptors in five games in the first round.
Orlando re-signed Terrence Ross and Nikola Vucevic this offseason and inked Al-Farouq Aminu to a three-year deal, as well. The team also selected former Auburn forward Chuma Okeke with the No. 16 pick in the 2019 draft.
Gordon, 23, averaged 16.0 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Magic in 2018-19. He has spent his entire five-year career in Orlando and inked a new four-year, $84 million contract with the team in July 2018.