Projecting the future of the Orlando Magic point guard position

3 of 3
Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic
Markelle Fultz has been in the background as the Orlando Magic plan for their future as he continues to recover from his injury. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

Markelle Fultz


Prior to Markelle Fultz’s devastating ACL tear, he was the incumbent starting point guard and was (and still should be) viewed as one of the cornerstones of the Orlando Magic’s present and future.

Fultz has a preternatural ability with the ball in his hands and is incredibly effective at understanding defensive and offensive positioning in order to create opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Markelle Fultz realizes that his defender has sagged off him into the paint to account for the Aaron Gordon drive.

Recognizing this in conjunction with the fact that Nikola Vucevic is hanging at the top of the key with undersized defender Luguentz Dort also sagging off the line, Markelle Fultz accelerates toward the paint in an attempt to drive the help defender with him into the paint, opening up space for Vucevic.

Once Fultz gets the ball from Gordon, he immediately fires off a pass to a wide-open Vucevic for an easy three points.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Coach Steve Clifford often cites Markelle Fultz’s basketball sense and IQ as some of his biggest strengths. Play like this show just how well he knows how to manage the game and manipulate defenses without necessarily being a threat to score.


The elephant in the room regarding Markelle Fultz has always been his outside shooting.

The well-documented issues with Fultz’s shooting motion will not be covered in this article. Fultz has learned how to manage his thoracic outlet syndrome and has become a more effective and confident shooter. But the numbers are still poor. Shooting remains an issue and teams will live with Fultz shooting from the outside.

Prior to his ACL tear, Fultz was averaging 25-percent on his 3-point shots, numbers well below league average. This lack of a consistent jump shot has unfortunately restricted a lot of what makes Fultz so special, as he cannot punish defenders with his shot if they decide to sag off him in coverage to accentuate his passing skills.

If there is any silver lining, it is that Fultz has not stopped attempting to shoot the three. Unlike other players with well-documented shooting flaws, Fultz will actually shoot threes when comfortable.


If Markelle Fultz can come back healthy and is able to show improvements on his jump shot, he should be the primary ball-handler for this team. Fultz has a rare ability to see the court and understand the intricacies of ball movement and offensive basketball in a way few players in the NBA have.

Next. Orlando Magic veterans speak up to help team respond better. dark

If the worst happens and his shot never improves, Markelle Fultz projects to have a similar skill set as R.J. Hampton – a redundancy that may become problematic when projecting the depth chart for next season.