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Sixers’ Markelle Fultz could learn a thing or two from Jimmy Butler

The veteran was said to be rough on young players in his time with the Bulls and Timberwolves. Fultz said he's not worried about that. "I've got a toughness myself."

Markelle Fultz dribbles past Charlotte's Kemba Walker on Friday.
Markelle Fultz dribbles past Charlotte's Kemba Walker on Friday.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

MIAMI — Markelle Fultz's focus remains the same.

The 76ers' second-year guard says he wants to improve and help the team win regardless of who's on the roster. He'll pay close attention to Jimmy Butler's game and pick the four-time all-star's brain if Butler is willing to help.

"But at the end of the day, I'm just worried about myself getting better and really help the team," Fultz said. "So [I'll be] just observing the way he trains, maybe, the way he competes, stuff like that."

The Sixers (8-6)on Saturday, acquired Butler and Justin Patton from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick.

The earliest Butler is expected to play for the Sixers is Wednesday night against the Magic in Orlando. As a result, the Sixers will have 12 players available for Monday night's game against the Miami Heat. Both two-way players, Demetrius Jackson and Shake Melton, will be in uniform. The Heat will be without Dwyane Wade, who is with his wife, Gabrielle Union-Wade, and newborn girl in Los Angeles.
>> READ MORE: Joel Embiid says he's excited to play with Jimmy Butler but that he'll miss Saric and Covington

The Sixers played with just nine players Saturday in a 112-106 overtime loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis. Fultz finished with one of his best performances of the season.  Attempting mostly layups, he scored 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting to go with two blocks and one steal in 24 minutes, 45 seconds.

But Fultz's shooting woes have been well documented.

Butler isn't regarded as a sharpshooter, hitting 34.1 percent of his three-pointers in his career, including 37.8 percent this year. However, he is known for his work ethic and playing with intensity. That's why he could be someone from whom Fultz might be able to learn. And Fultz said he is not concerned that Butler reportedly was tough on younger teammates in Minnesota and with the Chicago Bulls.

"I grew up [in] the DMV area," said the native of Upper Marlboro, Md., referring to the Washington metropolitan area. "So I've got a toughness myself.  But at the end of the day, I work my [butt] off."