Markelle Fultz, Danny Ainge Now Connected Via Crazy Stat From Rookie’s Return


After a 68-game absence, Markelle Fultz made his return to the court Monday night.

The Philadelphia 76ers rookie had been out with a shoulder injury that had also appeared to zap him of his shooting prowess, but the 2017 No. 1 overall pick looked solid against the Denver Nuggets.

The University of Washington product scored 10 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed four rebounds in just 14 minutes.

Fultz became the first player to record 10 or more points and eight or more assists in less than 15 minutes since the guy who elected to trade the No. 1 overall pick to the 76ers that became Fultz — Danny Ainge.

Ainge and the Boston Celtics obtained the pick from the Brooklyn Nets as part of the 2013 trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn. Ainge elected to trade the selection to the 76ers for the No. 3 overall pick in 2017, which Boston used to take Jayson Tatum, and either the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick (if between No. 2 and No. 5) or the Sacramento Kings’ 2019 first-round pick.

Tatum has had a solid rookie campaign, while Fultz has struggled with injury and the shooting yips. Fultz once was the consensus No. 1 pick, however, and he showed why he was so highly coveted coming out of college in his return.

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