Assists: Markelle Fultz
One of the biggest successes for Markelle Fultz last season was his passing.
The young point guard averaged 5.1 assists per game, regularly diming up his teammates for buckets. His dribbling and on-the-ball ability make him a constant threat and the hope is that this will continue to develop as he gets more experience.
Fultz will likely have a bigger role this coming season. With a full year behind him, the former number one pick is ready to take on more responsibility and is working hard to improve on his weaknesses, such as his three-point shooting.
Speaking to reporters, Markelle Fultz said he and head coach Steve Clifford have discussed the point guard position having a bigger role on offense next season.
The Sixer Sense
"“I think my game is being aggressive and being aggressive doesn’t mean that I always have to score,” Fultz said earlier this week. “That’s also drawing two guys to me and kicking it out to get the team going or whether that’s me scoring a bucket.”"
The 22-year-old is already a good playmaker but the path toward becoming an excellent one is there. While his shooting has let him down on offense, his control of the ball and ability to see the game is a joy for his fellow players who benefit from his unselfishness and court vision.
Fultz is at his best when driving to the basket and on many occasions last season we saw him stop before going for a layup and kicking the ball out to someone else. With more floor spacing thanks to the additions of Chuma Okeke and Cole Anthony, this is something the Magic should look to harness meaning Fultz’s assist count could rise further.
The Magic have lost another solid playmaker in D.J. Augustin, who has signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, but also have one of the best passing big men in the league in Nikola Vucevic. He and Aaron Gordon are capable of averaging four assists per game next season. But Fultz has to take the lead as the team’s primary playmaker.
But Anthony could also help him. Anthony averaged four assists per game at North Carolina last season for a poor team. He should also be given plenty of opportunity to prove his playmaking skills along with Fultz.