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."
21 de abril 2019
|Khan refutes Crawford´s accusations of quitting after low blow|
|Deciding doubles triumph sends Australia into Fed Cup final|
|Pakistan call up Yasir with Shadab laid low by virus|
|Wellington Phoenix 3 Melbourne City 2: Krishna´s last-gasp hat-trick boosts top-four hopes|
|Oh, for real? I didn´t know! - Harden unaware of early shooting woes|
|Solskjaer warns Alexis Sanchez Man Utd won´t carry players|
|Dele Alli thinks Tottenham´s Champions League run has Russian roots|
|Leilua brace downs Broncos as Raiders keep pace at NRL summit|
|Spalletti hails Inter´s Roma draw as ´precious´|
|Stuttgart had to make Weinzierl decision - Hitzlsperger|
|Tucker´s homer on MLB debut powers Pirates to fifth straight win|
|76ers win thriller, Rockets overcome Harden struggles to move 3-0 ahead|
|Crawford retains title by TKO after low blow stops Khan|
|MLS Review: De Boer´s Atlanta woes continue, Nani lifts Orlando|
|Garcia beats Granados via seventh-round TKO|
|Muller: Bayern feeling title pressure|
|He parks the bus right in front of De Gea – Van Gaal critical of Solskjaer again|
|Red Sox star Eovaldi on injured list with elbow issue|
|We real cool – Lillard plays down Westbrook feud|
|Embiid trolls Warriors after 76ers take 3-1 lead over Nets|
|Allegri dismisses criticism after Scudetto success|
|Solskjaer warns of no quick-fix for Man United in transfer market|
|Klopp a hermit amid Liverpool title hype|
|Dudley is ´a nobody´ – 76ers star Embiid|
|Johnson leads RBC Heritage heading into final round|
|Pogba can´t always have things his own way, says Solskjaer|
|Whyte to face unbeaten Rivas in July|
|Clermont hold off Harlequins to reach Challenge Cup final|
|Barcelona have to suffer to win – Valverde|
|Allegri staying at Juventus and targeting improvement|
|Man United win made Sociedad tough, says Barca´s Jordi Alba|
20 de abril 2019
|Nadal: I probably played one of the worst matches on clay in 14 years|
|Sarri: Chelsea´s League Cup run on par with Tottenham´s heroics|
|Barcelona 2 Real Sociedad 1: Lenglet and Alba bring title closer|
|Inter 1 Roma 1: Perisic answers El Shaarawy stunner|
|La Rochelle edge past Sale to book Challenge Cup final berth|
|Capitals enjoy home comforts again to reign over Kings XI|
|Ronaldo proud of first Serie A season as Juventus celebrate title triumph|
|Ronaldo confirms Juventus stay after Serie A success|
|He´s showing great commitment - Gracia hails match-winner Deulofeu|
|Parker and Fulham ´discussing plans´ for next season|
|Juventus 2018-19: Ronaldo´s goals key to eighth successive Scudetto|
|I´m thankful that I´m playing for them - Vunipola grateful for support at Saracens|
|Newcastle United 3 Southampton 1: Perez hat-trick all but seals safety|
|Juventus 2018-19: Bianconeri join Europe´s fastest title triumphs|
|That point could make the difference - Ryan salutes resolute Brighton|
|Atletico Madrid defender Gimenez dislocates toe in Eibar win|
|Kovac: Patience key to crucial Bayern victory|
|Juventus 2018-19: How the Old Lady won an eighth straight Serie A title|
|Juventus 2018-19: The AC Milan team last to rule before the Bianconeri´s dominance|
|Juventus 2 Fiorentina 1: Bianconeri bounce back to seal Scudetto|
|Juventus seal eighth successive Serie A title|
|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|