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."
|Giannis not feeling pressure despite Raptors revival|
|Raptors´ VanVleet ends shooting slump after birth of second child|
|Yankees stay hot, pull away for win over Orioles|
|Three takeaways from Raptors´ Game 4 win over Bucks|
|Well-rounded Raptors level series against Bucks|
|Blues snap 49-year Stanley Cup Finals drought|
|Durant ´100 per cent undecided´ about future, says manager|
|Rodgers says Packers´ new offense is ´going to look different´|
|Beilein explains decision to leave Michigan for Cavaliers|
|Warriors became ´unbeatable´ with Durant, says Green|
|Canada beat USA, who must now face rampant Russia|
|Luka Doncic & Trae Young top 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie first team|
|O.J. Simpson´s No. 32 Bills jersey assigned for first time in 42 years|
|Eagles QB Carson Wentz will be full participant in OTAs|
|Don´t underrate Warriors´ five straight NBA Finals – Kerr|
|Mets snap five-game losing streak|
|Warriors first team to five straight NBA Finals since 1966 Celtics|
|Green plans to fly out reporter for NBA Finals: You were good luck today|
|Three takeaways from Warriors´ sweep of Trail Blazers|
|Curry & Warriors team-mate Green make NBA playoff history|
|Warriors sweep Trail Blazers to reach NBA Finals|
|Pelinka: Lakers can win NBA championship next year|
|Buccaneers release McCoy after nine seasons|
|Raptors star Leonard ´will be ready´ to face Bucks – Nurse|
|Iguodala out of Game 4 against Trail Blazers|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger ´genuinely sorry´ for Brown comments|
|Mets´ Cespedes fractures ankle in ranch accident|
|Italy remain at top table, Great Britain rally to relegate France|
|Magic Johnson points finger at Pelinka after Lakers power struggle|
|Giannis expects Milwaukee to buck their ideas up after Game 3 loss|
|Iguodala questionable for Game 4|
|Gardner´s big game helps Yankees pull away from Rays|
|This is playoff basketball – Leonard on playing through injury in Raptors win|
|Three takeaways from Raptors´ key Game 3 win over Bucks|
|Trail Blazers star Lillard addresses rib injury|
|Raptors top Bucks in double-OT thriller|
|Trail Blazers need effort over strategy in Game 4 against Warriors - Stotts|
|Green: Arguing with officials made me disgusting to watch|
|Green playing ´unbelievably well´, says Kerr|
|Astros get 10th straight win with defeat of Red Sox|
|Warriors´ Iguodala to undergo MRI as Finals beckon|
|Three takeaways from Golden State´s comeback win over Portland|
|Warriors on verge of NBA Finals after trumping Trail Blazers|
|Nurse wants Raptors to ´play their a** off´ and change series|
|Eagles defensive end Long announces retirement|
|Kane stars as USA close on quarter-final berth|
|Leonard lays down Raptors challenge after back-to-back Bucks defeats|
|Springer making early MVP case as Astros win ninth straight|
|My team-mates are looking at me – Giannis revels in leading role|
|Three takeaways from Bucks´ dominant Game 2 win over Raptors|
|Giannis´ Bucks rout Raptors for 2-0 series lead|
|Astros reliever Pressly sets MLB record|
|Three reasons Nuggets can be more dangerous in 2019-20|
|George, Harden and Giannis named NBA MVP finalists|
|Pacers´ Tyreke Evans receives two-year ban from NBA|
|Finland shutout Britain to move top of Group A|
|Durant calf strain more serious than first thought - Kerr|
|Rangers hit five homers, score 16 runs on day of MLB blowouts|
|Three takeaways from Warriors´ rallying win against Trail Blazers|
|Warriors take 2-0 series lead over Trail Blazers|
|Warriors center Cousins has ´progressed to on-court work´|
|Kevin Durant will miss Games 3 and 4 against Trail Blazers|
|Warriors have to play differently in Durant´s absence – Stephen Curry|
|Curry: Warriors harder to guard without Durant|
|Sweden thrash Austria, Marchessault lifts Canada|
|This Week in US Sports: Pelicans set to land Zion, Lakers hire Vogel|
|Nowitzki named FIBA World Cup ambassador|
|I haven´t worn down yet - Ezekiel Elliott responds to talk of reduced workload|
|Middleton hails ´beast´ Lopez after Bucks fightback|
|Prescott wants to be with Cowboys ´forever´|