Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz is not ready to start over J.J. Redick

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Even after dazzling a thrilled Wells Fargo Center crowd with his brand new shot, the Philadelphia 76ers should still start J.J. Redick over Markelle Fultz.

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After starting off the 2018 NBA season with a glorified scrimmage against the Melbourne United Tigers, our hometown Sixers finally took the court against another NBA team, and boy was it a sight to see.

With big contributions from unlikely sources, like Furkan Korkmaz and Landry Shamet, no one had a better game than presumptive preseason MVP Markelle Fultz.

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In 24 minutes of action, Fultz recorded 12 points, six rebounds, and a single assist. But for fans in the 215, there’s only one play that really mattered: A wide open 3-pointer.

Now granted, he went 1-4 from outside for the game, good for a very sub-par 25-percent from deep, but after attempting only one 3-pointer in his entire rookie campaign, a season plagued with injuries and a broken shot, Fultz finally got one through the hoop.

However, just because Fultz played well, and put on a show for the fans, his stint as a starter should not continue into the regular season.

While it’s certainly nice to see the former first overall pick find his footing as a pro, the Sixers re-signed J.J. Redick for a reason, and above all else, that’s to shoot.

In case you forgot, Redick is one of the best pure shooters in the entire NBA.

With a career 3-point shooting percentage of 41.5, Redick finished out his 2017-2018 NBA season with an even better 42 percent from deep, and he did so while taking a career-high 6.6 shots per game.

Not to add insult to injury, but Redick completed 192 more three-point shots than Fultz even attempted. Just think about that for a minute.

As fans know, to truly utilize a player like Ben Simmons to his fullest extent, a coach and front office need to surround him with good-to-great deep shooters. This is why when Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Redick were all hot around midseason the Sixers were all but unbeatable.

Why replace one of the best outside shooters in the league with a player whose only three came in a preseason game.

That just doesn’t seem like a winning formula.

Now don’t get me wrong, Fultz should, and likely will be a huge part of the 76ers game plan moving forward, but inserting him into the starting five without truly earning the opportunity seems incredibly shortsighted. While Redick may be a defensive liability and may eventually transition into a secondary role as an off-the-bench shooter a la former Sixer Kyle Korver, right now he gives the team the best chance to win right away.

Next. Losing Wilson Chandler is a preseason bummer. dark

If Markelle Fultz wants to dethrone J.J. Redick and become the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting shooting guard moving forward, he should have to do so based on his performance on the court in the regular season, not because he’s worked really hard in the offseason.