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“And, look, we have no idea when that’s going to be. We’re hoping much, much sooner than later. But once again, we’re trying to do this the best we can, and that’s have that word of patience.”We want to have patience with him and get him ready and put him on the court when he can be most productive.” “He will not play in summer league with us,” Hammond said Monday on Orlando radio station 96.9 The Game. “We didn’t think there was any way that he was going to do that. We didn’t plan on him doing that. So probably not the place for him right now. But overall, I can just say that he’s doing well.”The Magic acquired Fultz in a trade Feb. 7 for guard Jonathon Simmons, a protected 2020 first-round pick (top-20 protected) and a second-round selection in the 2019 NBA Draft. Related News Celtics free agency rumors: Boston emerging as ‘stealth’ suitor for Kemba Walker Magic executives were thrilled to land Fultz; Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said at the time, “I think Markelle’s ceiling — well, put it this way, he was the No. 1 pick in the draft.”But the team doesn’t know when Fultz will be ready to play.”He’s working extremely hard. He’s in good shape,” Hammond said. “His weight is good. His overall body-fat percentage is very good. So, if you look at him, you say, “Wow, he looks great.” So, it’s just a matter of him just continuing to get more comfortable, continuing for him to get himself in a position where he’s ready to step on the floor and help us. Markelle Fultz “looks great,” Magic general manager John Hammond says, but he can’t put a timetable on when the guard will return to action.Selected by the 76ers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Fultz has played only 33 games in two seasons, as he battles a shoulder injury that has hurt his shooting form. Kawhi Leonard free agency rumors: Clippers tentatively set July 2 meeting Raptors president Masai Ujiri: I’m staying with Toronto
Rockets star James Harden started trending on Twitter Thursday night, and it wasn’t because he entered the NBA bubble.Harden was seen wearing a mask that featured the United States flag with a blue line and a Punisher skull on top. The blue line is labeled as the “thin blue line” and is used as a sign of support for the Blue Lives Matter movement. The blue line refers to the blue color of uniforms worn by many police departments. James Harden: “It was just something that covered my whole beard. I thought it looked cool. That was it.” Harden said he’s in process of determining how he will voice his support for the Black Lives Matter while in NBA bubble, including whether he will have a message on jersey.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 17, 2020James Harden on mask he wore yesterday: “I wasn’t trying to make a political statement..I wore it b/c it covered my whole face,my beard. .As I clearly talked about yesterday,me finding a way,whether it’s my jersey name or another way,to show my support for the Black Lives Matter” pic.twitter.com/2BMyH51peM— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 17, 2020Harden also spoke with reporters Thursday and said he was in favor of the nationwide protests that followed George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.The Rockets begin their season restart July 31 in a game against the Mavericks. The Punisher skull has also become a popular symbol within the same movement. Mask Up📸 @NBA pic.twitter.com/PFsIuJybYb— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) July 17, 2020MORE: A list of players opting out of 2020 NBA seasonThe mask Harden was wearing is called “Blue Line Patriot” and the company that makes it says in the description, “Just when you think you’ve seen all we had to offer those who protect and serve. Remember those who have fallen with our new Thin Blue Patriot design.”Many saw Harden wearing this mask as support for the Blue Lives Matter movement at a time when police brutality has been the subject of protests around the world, and he was heavily criticized as a result.”This certified clown s—,” rapper Trey Songz tweeted about Harden. “I’ll say it for everybody who scared to. FOH.”Harden addressed the controversy in a Zoom call with reporters Friday. The Rockets star said the mask was not meant as a political statement, and that he only wore it because it’s a long mask that covers his beard.