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."
23 de enero 2019
|Piatek completes AC Milan move after Higuain exit|
|Super Bowl LIII: Rams RBs v Patriots RBs|
|BREAKING NEWS: Chelsea seal Higuain loan|
|Ismaily kicked out of CAF Champions League after fans throw stones, bottles|
|England star Itoje pens new Saracens deal|
|Palace keeper Hennessey charged over Instagram post|
|Chelsea warn supporters over anti-Semitic chanting ahead of Tottenham EFL Cup tie|
|Joshua primed to make call on next opponent|
|Super Bowl LIII: Brady v Goff|
|Sala search suspended as Cardiff chairman confirms club wanted different travel arrangements|
|Cruyff, Koeman, Kluivert - De Jong following pantheon of Dutch Barca greats|
|Sarfraz apologises for comments picked up by stump mic|
|Djokovic: Pouille deserves top-10 spot|
|Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack|
|Celtics´ Kyrie Irving to sit out Cavs game with flu-like symptoms|
|Barcelona seal €86m De Jong deal|
|Vietnam v Japan: Moriyasu happy to keep doing just enough|
|Hendricks, De Kock and Steyn join up with Proteas squad|
|Lorenzo excited for ´new level´ at Repsol Honda|
|Fernando replaces injured Pradeep in Sri Lanka squad|
|China v Iran: Queiroz wants to exorcise 2015 quarter-final|
|Balotelli joins Marseille until the end of the season|
|Emery gives Monchi ringing endorsement amid Arsenal sporting director links|
|Larry Fitzgerald returning to Cardinals on one-year deal|
|Watson absence ´an opportunity´ for Scotland hopefuls, says Townsend|
|Pochettino open to new signings but Janssen to remain a Spurs outcast|
|´No trace´ of aircraft so far in Sala search|
|Pochettino will not judge Sarri for criticising Chelsea players|
|From front row to four in a row - Best takes on Farrell at Connect 4|
|Hazard an individual, not a leader - Sarri urges Chelsea star to do more|
|Broad left out of England team for first Test|
|Higuain set to sign for Chelsea but won´t face Tottenham – Sarri|
|McGillvary injury blow for Giants|
|Solari praises Marcelo amid exit rumours|
|A-League Review: Joy and pain for De Jong as Sydney close gap|
|Halfpenny, Davies and Williams set to miss France clash|
|India to rest Kohli from back end of New Zealand tour|
|The hand is good - Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland|
|Martinez leaves Arsenal for Reading loan|
|Beckham becomes Salford City shareholder|
|Maradona hopes Sala will be found alive|
|Djokovic will not discuss potential Nadal showdown yet|
|A Federer-Nadal double? Even historic scalps may not be enough for Tsitsipas|
|Raonic to assess knee injury, hopes to avoid surgery|
|Barcelona right to fine ´complicated´ Dembele, says Ter Stegen|
|Higuain and Piatek on the move on busy day for Milan|
|Philippe and Vince humble the Hurricanes|
|Nishikori: I couldn´t beat anybody on one leg|
|Boateng poised for debut as Barcelona axe Suarez|
|Shami sets record in crushing win after sun stops play|
|Sala search focused on possible use of life raft|
|Pouille exceeds own expectations with run to Aus Open semis|
|Nishikori retirement sees Djokovic through to semi-finals|
|A golden boy, a guy you want to love - Delecroix pays emotional tribute to Sala|
|Richardson, Patterson to make Australia debuts against Sri Lanka|
|Police resume search for missing Sala plane|
|Pouille upsets Raonic to reach Australian Open semis|
|Dunk sees Stars past Strikers|
|How Serena gave up 5-1 lead – the key moments of loss to Pliskova|
|Pliskova enjoys ´best comeback´ after stunning Serena|
|Serena not blaming ankle injury for Australian Open loss|
|Mavericks capitalise on Clippers´ turnovers, pick up win in Smith´s return|
|Pliskova saves four match points to stun Serena with comeback win|
|Anthony ´can only make´ a team better, says Iverson|
|Henry more worried about Monaco´s future than his own|
|Osaka powers past Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Harden on Anthony trade: It kind of sucks that it didn´t work out|
|Redskins remain ´optimistic´ QB Alex Smith will play again|
|Patriots coach Belichick says Rams´ Donald is ´pretty much unblockable´|
|PSG fined €100,000 by LFP over player-recruitment practices|