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Markelle Fultz, The Return: Let’s Speculate

Come with me, and we’ll be, in a world of pure speculation....

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Everyday, it’s a gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Markelle Fultz will soon come our way
A hey, a hey hey

We have resisted doing a speculative “When is Markelle Fultz Going to Return” post here because, well, it’s entirely speculative. But it certainly seems like we’re getting closer, and there’s gonna be a lot of time to talk about it as the Sixers take the long road trip to London and back, so: When is Markelle Fultz going to return?

We’ve seen increased activity from Fultz this week, like all the tech in Independence Day 2 when the aliens came back (don’t see that movie, it’s awful). Just today, he was seen shooting, once again as far from cameras as he can be while still being in front of cameras:

According to Keith Pompey, Fultz is currently participating in 4-on-4 drills, and Kieth predicted in a chat that while Fultz needs to progress and have multiple 5-on-5 practices, “if all goes well, he could see him shortly after [London].”

So all signs point to a soft, general “soon.” After tonight’s game against Detroit, the Sixers next play in that London game a full six days from now. The next game after that is a full four days later against Toronto. Then they hit the road to play Boston on the 18th, and back home against Milwaukee on the 20th. That’s the next 16 days, but only the next 4 games. There is a lot of time in there to push Markelle’s conditioning, confidence, and readiness along.

Though it looks like there’s about a 0% chance Fultz will pop up alongside both Big Bens in England, that following stretch almost looks like it’s primed and created just to get someone ready. The first home game after LDN is on Martin Luther King Day at 1:00PM. The next home trip (a logical return happens at home, but who knows) is a Saturday night game against the Bucks. But in-between, for the Sixers’ first “official” road game of the month, they’ll take on Boston - the team they made the Fultz trade with - on the 18th, at 8:00PM, on TNT. I’m not predicting Fultz will return then, and I am not saying this stuff is worth even considering when bringing him back, but oh man you can’t write a better return night than that one.

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