For the past few seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers have taken the clear route of building through the NBA draft. This approach has cost them in the win column as they have posted one of the worst records in the league since 2012, their last playoff appearance.


While this method of madness sacrifices wins, it gains and seeks to establish a young core of talent that will bring the wins back into existence.


The “core” that they have been looking to build has gone through a trial and error process, but it seems as though they have something figured out with the likes of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and now Markelle Fultz, this year’s number one draft pick.


With Embiid’s success last season in just under 50 games, it was made clear that he will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come, as long as he stays healthy. Ben Simmons, the number one pick from last year’s draft, was unable to play this past season due to injury when he suffered it playing in the Las Vegas summer league. So, as Fultz, and the 76ers entered this year’s Vegas Summer League, a priority was to obviously win and see who can bring it and who can’t, but their main priority was to keep Fultz healthy and not have a repeat of what Simmons went through last year.


What should serve as irony isn’t that ironic when it comes to this team that seems to be plagued by injuries every year. Again, their main objective was to keep Fultz healthy and barely halfway through the first quarter of their first game, that priority looked to be in huge jeopardy.


After a Sixers miss, Fultz was attempting to get back on defense while the opposing team was in transition. Upon seeing that the opposing player was rising up for a layup, Fultz tried to execute a chase down block, but rolled his ankle on his teammate’s foot while trying to takeoff.


(The Undefeated)

Fultz immediately when down and reacted for the ankle as the training staff immediately surrounding him near the Sixers bench. As Fultz squirmed around on the floor, clearly in pain, the collective hearts of every Sixers fan dropped and nostalgia kicked in because they have seen this before. So much promise potentially down the drain with one freak injury, setting them back another season.


While these thoughts were pondered and hands were probably about to make their way to remote controls to change the channel from heartbreak, Fultz stood up, on his own power and limped to the bench and eventually to the locker room. Now, the focus wasn’t on the game, but on any upcoming report about the status of his injured ankle.


As the first quarter was nearing its end, for what seemed like an eternity, a report was given by an ESPN sideline reporter that it was simply a sprained ankle and although Fultz wouldn’t return, he would be fine.


Now imagine a complete reversal of thoughts and actions for Sixer fans as their friend literally turned upside down. Although Fultz wouldn’t play the rest of the summer league games, it was ensured that he would be ready for when the games really count in October.


In essence, the Sixers had survived a long term scare and basically accomplished their goal of getting Fultz through summer league without having to shut him down for the season like they have had to do with other players in the past.


Summer league scare: Survived.


Do you think Fultz will have a big impact right away? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.