Former number one draft pick Markelle Fultz will start the Philadelphia 76ers' NBA opener against the Boston Celtics.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown confirmed guard Fultz – selected first in the 2017 Draft – will be in the starting line-up on Tuesday, with veteran JJ Redick coming off the bench.
Fultz has endured a difficult start to his NBA career, the 20-year-old hampered by injuries and a hitch in his jump-shot through his rookie season.
He averaged 7.1 points per game and attempted a single three-pointer in just 14 regular-season appearances in 2017-18 before falling out of Philadelphia's playoff rotation – totalling just 23 minutes in three postseason appearances.
Discussing his decision on the eve of Philadelphia's season opener, Brown told reporters on Monday: "How do I grow Markelle and especially with Ben [Simmons and Joel [Embiid]? How do I win games and put us in a position to move us forward? And how do you deliver a team to the end of April and May and hopefully June that's better when it started?
"You may have to experience some pain along the way as you rotate your team.
"I'm extremely motivated by Markelle at this early stage of his career he's best with the ball as a point guard… as we study the rotations we are going to persevere. It's come with a lot of thought. It doesn't make it right but it's after a lot of thought. I want to give this an appropriate amount of time. Everyone will have their own notion of what that equals."
“We’ve been working really hard to get this going and now that it's here, everyone is a little antsy and ready.”@MarkelleF on the season opener tomorrow night. #HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/Ki1pY5ifJK— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 15, 2018
Fultz added: "I'm very appreciative and happy…. Almost like a pat on the back for myself for all the hard work I put in during the summer but we still have a goal and things to take care of. So back to work."
Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons was Philadelphia's primary guard throughout last season and asked about his relationship with the Australian star, Fultz said: "We play perfectly well together… It will be very exciting for people to watch."
The 76ers made a splash in 2017-18, Brown's youthful Philadelphia roster reaching the Eastern Conference semi-finals after advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12.
Brown is dreaming big in 2018-19, saying: "I've said from the start I want to play in the NBA Finals.
"Somebody asked me 'if you don't, does that make it a failure?' No. How can that not be our goal? In my eyes and head, I don't feel comfortable not owning that as a goal.
"We kind of came out of left-field last season, won 16 games in a row, beat Miami Heat 4-1… everyone looks at us differently. Our vision line has changed. In my eyes in some ways too.
"What equals success? I don't know. We will all be able to talk about it candidly at the end of the season."
20 de abril 2019
|Pellegrini blames officials for more dropped West Ham points|
|Valencia appears to confirm Manchester United exit in Instagram post|
|Brumbies hold firm to see off Stormers|
|Halep on form but France draw level in Fed Cup semi|
|Pochettino refuses to criticise officials after missing out on penalty|
|Farrell guides Saracens into Champions Cup final|
|Eibar 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Lemar strikes late at Ipurua|
|Fabulous Fognini ends Nadal´s Monte Carlo winning streak|
|Bournemouth 0 Fulham 1: Mitrovic on target as Parker´s men win again|
|West Ham 2 Leicester City 2: Last-gasp Barnes strike grabs dramatic draw|
|Huddersfield Town 1 Watford 2: Deulofeu double lifts Watford into seventh|
|Wolves 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Hughton´s men stop rot with stalemate|
|Now I am a genius – Guardiola applauds match-winner Foden|
|Bayern Munich 1 Werder Bremen 0: Fortunate Sule strike edges Kovac´s side closer|
|A-League Review: Brisbane Roar in historic humiliation at home to Newcastle Jets|
|Nerves played a part, admits Bernardo Silva|
|New captain Smith makes fifty as Royals triumph|
|Guardiola suggests De Bruyne´s season could be over after Spurs injury|
|Khan giving no thought to Brook ahead of Crawford battle|
|Lajovic reels off 10 straight games to stay perfect in Monte Carlo|
|Gattuso slams ´naive´ AC Milan after Parma draw|
|Manchester City 1 Tottenham 0: Foden nets first league goal as Spurs fail to dent champions´ title d|
|Waratahs rally to victory in Folau´s absence|
|De Bruyne suffers another injury in blow to Manchester City´s title challenge|
|Parma 1 AC Milan 1: Alves equaliser stuns Gattuso´s men|
|Van Dijk & Sterling lead PFA Player of the Year nominations|
|Ravalawa try seals Dragons win as Sea Eagles fume|
|Zidane cool on Mbappe to Real Madrid talk|
|Irving feels Celtics ´have come a long way´ after beating Pacers again|
|Westbrook a man of his word - George hails Thunder star after prickly win|
|Foden set for second league start, Spurs make five changes|
|Barty beats Azarenka to level up Fed Cup semi-final|
|Alisson thrilled at Joe Gomez´s return from injury|
|Neymar in line for PSG return versus Monaco|
|Azema signs new Clermont contract until 2023|
|Falcao: I´ve got years left at top level|
|Crawford aims to state pound-for-pound case against Khan|
|How Emery´s numbers compare to Arsenal predecessor Wenger|
|Hendricks leads Cubs to fourth straight win|
|MLS Review: Ibrahimovic, Galaxy continue fine form|
|Raptors hold off Magic, Celtics extend lead over Pacers|
|Valverde wary of ´powerful´ Liverpool|
|Raptors star Leonard played through sickness against Magic|
|Djokovic upbeat over French Open chances despite form dip|
|Zaha hints at Palace exit, eyes Champions League|
|I messed up – Miller speaks out after second failed test|
|Johnson continues good form, Lowry leads|
|DeGrom to undergo MRI for elbow ailment|
|Guardiola is world´s best coach – Valverde|
|Klopp: Liverpool still embracing pressure|
19 de abril 2019
|Medvedev masters Djokovic as Fognini fights back in style|
|Guardiola defends tactics after Man City´s Champions League exit|
|Guardiola: VAR is ´f****** boring to talk about´|
|Norwich City 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2: Late Vrancic stunner secures point for Canaries|
|Kohli hits century as Challengers survive Russell onslaught|
|Miller out of Joshua fight after second failed test, says promoter Hearn|
|Hennessey ´desperate´ to be educated about Hitler and Nazism - Hodgson|
|Spurs are amazing! – Ajax boss Ten Hag relishing Tottenham test|
|Nadal passes Pella test to remain on track in Monte Carlo|
|Championship Review: Ten-man Latics dent Leeds´ promotion push, Bolton relegated|
|Juventus goalkeeper Perin has shoulder surgery|
|We always expect something special from Messi – Valverde|
|The O-Line bond behind two Heisman Trophies - Dru Samia & Ben Powers talk protecting Baker Mayfield|
|Super Saints thrash sorry Wigan as Leeds Rhinos climb off the bottom|
|Ramsey could return in two weeks, says Emery|
|Valverde surprised by Coutinho controversy|
|Sexton, Mako Vunipola return for European Champions Cup|
|Under-strength Hurricanes survive Sunwolves scare|
|Lingard admits top-four finish would be ´massive´ for Manchester United|
|Icardi planning Inter stay - agent Wanda Nara|