Markelle Fultz

Sixers could be down starter tonight vs. Pacers

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Sixers could be down starter tonight vs. Pacers

CAMDEN, N.J. -- The Sixers could be down a starter Tuesday against the playoff contending Pacers.

Dario Saric is questionable because of gastroenteritis. He showed up to shootaround but was sent home. Saric has played in all but one game this season, becoming a dependable scorer in the starting five. He is averaging 17.8 points and 7.2 rebounds this month. 

If Saric does not play, Ersan Ilyasova could get the nod. Ilyasova started 40 games for the Sixers last season. The veteran stayed late on the court after shootaround to work on fundamentals, including shooting free throws off one foot, staying locked in during his 10th NBA season.

Joel Embiid received treatment and massage during shootaround, not injury related but rather to keep him ready and rested for the game. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot also is questionable because of right knee patellar tendinitis. 

The available Sixers will need to bring their A-game against the Pacers, who have exceeded expectations following the trade of Paul George. If the playoffs started today, the Pacers (39-28) and Sixers (36-29) would face off in a 3-6 first round pairing. 

"I feel like certain people have maybe waited for them to come down all season," JJ Redick said. "They're not coming down. They're a great basketball team."

Markelle Fultz and Furkan Korkmaz remain out. Fultz went through free throw drills following shootaround. Watch the progress of his form here: 

Fultz's possible return now weighs on Sixers' shoulder

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Fultz's possible return now weighs on Sixers' shoulder

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With 19 games left before the start of the playoffs, Brett Brown said the Sixers have not set a cutoff date for Markelle Fultz to either return or sit out the remainder of the season. 

"It's all internal discussions we're going through right now and just trying to accurately assess his situation,” Brown said Tuesday before the Sixers played the Hornets. “And we're discussing that as we speak."

Fultz, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, has not played since Oct. 23 because of a right shoulder injury. 

A return seems more unlikely than likely this late in the season. Fultz would have to make up a lot of ground being reworked into the mix — especially since he would have the ball in his hands — and simply getting back into game-playing condition, a transition for players returning from long-term injuries.  

The Sixers also are tightening up rotations as they gear up for the postseason while integrating Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova into the second unit. The Sixers signed the two veterans to bolster the bench, which has lacked scoring. Fultz began the season in a sixth-man role.

Fultz's shooting range has been limited in his rehab, but on Tuesday he worked on his three-point shot in drills following shootaround. Fultz, who shot 41.3 percent from three in college, looked more fluid in his release. He put up shots in different locations around the arc with T.J. McConnell and Ben Simmons, and also took corner threes by himself. 

"I think he's getting better,” Brown said of Fultz’s long-range progress. “I think it looks like it's getting more comfortable." 

Fultz has shown his speed, strength and ability to dunk in pregame drills throughout the season. On the same day he shot treys, Fultz also got up for this slam.

“He really does something with the basketball that no other player with the exception maybe of Ben can do with a live ball,” Brown said. 

Fultz has been traveling with the Sixers and staying integrated with the team while dealing with his injury.

"He's such good people," Brown said. "To find hints of success in relation to he's improving, and he feels it, that's where my heart is."

Markelle Fultz named in NCAA corruption scandal

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Markelle Fultz named in NCAA corruption scandal

Markelle Fultz is one of many players named in a Yahoo! report exposing high-profile athletes who accepted loans or bribes from former NBA agent Andy Miller, associate Christian Dawkins and Miller's agency, ASM Sports.

Fultz received a loan of $10,000 at some point before attending the University of Washington, according to the report, which utilized documents and bank records found during the discovery process of the federal investigation into Miller.

Other named players include Dennis Smith Jr., Isaiah Whitehead, Tim Quarterman (a teammate of Ben Simmons' at LSU), Bam Adebayo, Kyle Kuzma, Fred VanVleet and P.J. Dozier.

The records also show that Dawkins, 24, sought reimbursement after having dinner with prominent figures such as Fultz, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo and unnamed "Villanova coaches." The dinners themselves are one thing, the payment is another.

For more details, here is the Yahoo! report, which points out that the findings are so widespread and involve so many universities that punishment will be difficult for the NCAA.