The Sixers have treated the Markelle Fultz situation like he's an international spy. Information has been hard to come by. Updates have been infrequent, to put it mildly.
As the days and weeks go by with the only footage of Fultz being practice video, the Sixers have invited speculation. They've invited criticism.
And while Herb Magee doesn't have any insider info on Fultz, the legendary shot doctor's opinion on Fultz has value.
Deadspin interviewed Magee about Fultz. You can read the full article here.
Below are some of the standout quotes from Magee:
Fultz wasn't a great shooter, even prior to this
"I would never put him in the category of a great shooter, even when he played in college," Magee said.
"First of all, great shooters do not shoot 65 percent at the foul line. If you’re going a whole season and shooting 65 percent from the foul line, you can’t be in the category of a great shooter. The only real test for a shooter is foul shooting and three-point shooting. You can’t go by percentages. If you think back when Shaq played, he was probably shooting like 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from the foul line, (Ed.: 58 and 52) because he was shooting in-close and dunks.
"JJ Redick shoots like 94 percent from the foul line, Kevin Durant, close to 90, Curry is like 93, so to think that this kid is gonna be a Steph Curry or a JJ Redick, certainly not at this time, even if his shoulder isn’t bothering him. There’s no reason to think that he couldn’t improve, but a great shooter does not shoot 65 percent from the foul line."
The hitch in Fultz's giddy-up
"You can see he’s developed a hitch, and it’s more like a push shot, rather than a shot. The one that shows with his shoulder taped, you can see that as he goes to shoot, he brings it up into a position you would not do if you were a good shooter, and he kind of pushes the ball towards the basket. And the results were like — I think he shot it and completely missed the rim. That’s impossible. That’s an impossibility.
"I don’t know. Obviously, he has somebody that teaches him. He had the same guy in college and high school, from what I’ve read. He must have a lot of faith in the guy. Obviously, it’s in his head right now."
Forgetting how to shoot
"No, no, no. I have not seen that. Especially a kid on that level. He was the top guy in the draft, he was a college All-American. And the consensus top guy, from what I understand. What’s going on with that youngster right now... I’ve seen guys go into slumps, but not someone who would drastically change his shot to the point that he would hurt his shoulder number one, and number two, that he could not make a shot."
" ... I think the problem with Fultz is simply in his head. I think the only way to get it out of his head would be working in closely, shooting one-handed, and try to rebuild it right from the ground.
"I’ve never heard of it, I will say that to you. I’ve never heard of a guy on his level, and a guy as accomplished as he was in college just completely lose his shot."
Magee has been coaching for 51 years at Philadelphia University (which is now called Jefferson University).
Can Fultz get by without a jumper?
"He can get places, that’s for sure. But if you get places, you better be able to make shots. Unless you’re like Ben Simmons, who can get there and dunk it. Fultz is a guard. Ben Simmons is a guard, but he’s a revolutionary guard, more like LeBron James. But Fultz is a slasher type of kid. He needs a jump shot, he really does. And you’re gonna get fouled, and you gotta make foul shots."