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Former Sixer Markelle Fultz makes season debut with Orlando Magic

The guard missed nearly 14 months with a torn ACL.

Indiana Pacers v Orlando Magic Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Former Sixers guard Markelle Fultz made his season debut for the Orlando Magic on Monday after a 14-month layoff due to a torn ACL. The Magic defeated the Indiana Pacers, 119-103.

Though things didn’t work out with Fultz in Philadelphia, many Sixers fans have always pulled for him, including me. In the end, Fultz and the Sixers are both better off. Things seem to be looking up for him in Orlando, however, as he’s able to develop on an up-and-coming team without the pressure of championship expectations.

After being traded to Orlando during the 2018-2019 season, Fultz enjoyed better success with the Magic, averaging 12.2 points, 5.2 assists and 1.1 steals a game with Orlando before sustaining the knee injury in January 2021.

Fultz enjoyed a standing ovation from the crowd on his return (via NBA’s Twitter account).

Though the Magic currently have the worst record in the Eastern Conference, they boast several young and exciting players, including Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Mo Bamba. Fultz is still only 23, so he’s far from a finished product.

After such a long layoff, Fultz was on a minutes restriction of 16-20 minutes. He made the most of his limited time, scoring 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting, dishing six assists, and nabbing two rebounds in 16 minutes of work. Fultz moved well on the court and made and scored on an acrobatic layup in the second quarter. His midrange jumper looked solid as well, though he didn’t attempt any three-point shots or free throws.

Fultz’s jumper from the free throw line looks much better than his dark days with the Sixers. Here’s the jumper (via NBA’s Twitter account):

We’re glad to see him back on the court and wish him the best in Orlando.