Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid thinks that fellow Philadelphia 76ers youngster Markelle Fultz has been left on an island in a sense.

In an interview with NBATV after the Sixers beat the New York Knicks 108-92 on Monday, Embiid offered an interesting take on the rookie Fultz’s situation.

“I don’t know what the origins of the problems are,” said the All-Star center, according to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice. “I’m still trying to figure that out. But I don’t feel like a lot of people around him have had his back."

“He’s only 19 and that can be hard,” Embiid added. “The people around you that are supposed to support you that are not supporting you, it’s hard.”

Fultz, who was taken No. 1 overall in last year’s draft, has been out since late October with what the Sixers have officially termed “soreness and scapular muscle imbalance in his right shoulder.” The injury has had an adverse effect, to say the least, on his shooting mechanics, and the team’s vague, borderline-secretive handling of it has turned Fultz’s situation into a bizarre saga.

Meanwhile, Embiid can empathize with the rocky start Fultz has had to his NBA career — the 23-year-old missed the entirety of his first two professional seasons after being selected No. 3 overall in the 2014 draft. Embiid was also openly critical of the way Philly handled an injury he had last season, so it is worth wondering if that relates to the lack of support that he is referring to here.

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This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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