markelle fultz-philadelphia 76ers

Markelle Fultz’s rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers continues to unfold like some sort of basketball nightmare.

It has now been nearly four months since the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA Draft last took the court, and based on what Sixers president Bryan Colangelo told reporters Friday, he might not be back anytime soon.

Per Colangelo, Fultz’s shooting woes remain a mystery, his current range is “within the paint” and his return is entirely indefinite.

Pretty much nothing has gone right for Fultz on the court since he heard his name called first last spring. He showed up for the preseason with a shot that looked drastically different (and drastically uglier) than the one he used at Washington, then hit only 33 percent of his attempts from the floor and 50 percent from the free-throw line over his first four NBA games. The Sixers announced he had a minor shoulder injury, then soon after declared that he would be out indefinitely.

When Fultz re-materialized last month, he still couldn’t really shoot.

The scariest thing about this whole situation is that the Sixers don’t seem to have an idea what the problem is. If the Sixers knew exactly what was wrong with Fultz’s shoulder or why he had suddenly lost the ability to shoot, they would be able to treat him, rehab him and work him back onto the court. But as long as Fultz’s struggles remain a giant mystery, there’s little reason to believe the team will successfully address it.

It must be terribly difficult for Fultz to trudge through basketball’s version of Steve Blass Disease, and even harder to do so while his boss is snarking about you to reporters. We hope his shooting problems gets resolved — or at least properly diagnosed — sometime soon, though at this point we’re not exactly confident.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.