With No. 1 draft pick, Sixers now say they 'control our circumstances'

Think of it this way: If you polled a bunch of Celtics fans week ago asking if they'd trade the first overall pick as part of a package including Crowder for Butler, nobody would say it. The Boston executive thinks that he'll be able to drop back two spots and still get the player he would have selected first overall.

But Fultz is the only prospect who can do all of the things the Sixers need in a player.

"We're taking the next step in formulating a solid young core of players that will ultimately lead to a successful and sustainable product", Colangelo said. But Al Jefferson and Avery Bradley were both solid picks late in the first round, and Jaylen Brown seems like a fine player. If it is not, the Celtics will instead receive either Sacramento's or Philadelphia's first round pick in 2019, whichever is more favorable. I think now De'Aaron Fox is the most underrated player in this draft.

"You want well-rounded players that fit what you're doing", Colangelo said.

Shortly after the announcement of the deal, Team President Danny Ainge met with the media to give the thinking behind the trade and what might happen going forward.

One reason why they look like they could succeed is that they have another high draft pick.

After finishing with the No. 1 seed in the East this season before getting ousted in the conference finals by Cleveland in a one-sided series, the Celtics have considered packaging some of their future picks for an established star that could help them close the gap on the Cavaliers and Golden State - the teams that have met in the last three NBA Finals. The 76ers were in position to make the deal because of the assets they acquired under former general manager Sam Hinkie. The news was announced this past weekend when Markelle Fultz delayed his plans to travel to Boston to meet with the Celtics and instead had to detour his plans to Philly.

From the Pacers' standpoint, a trade with Boston also makes sense, considering the entire league is aware George is now a rental for the season, which diminishes his value and makes him a logical addition to teams trying to win now and not in the future.

But while Colangelo's shot fired Ainge's way could be a bit of gamesmanship with a rival he's expecting to battle against as the East's next great team, it was more a sign of respect from Colangelo, who admitted that it's hard to do business with Ainge because they know one another so well dating back to their days with the Suns.

"I am incredibly excited that we've acquired the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's National Basketball Association draft", 76ers managing general partner Josh Harris said. He shot 47.6 percent, averaged along with 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals over 25 games during his freshman season with the Huskies, who posted a 9-22 record.

  • Julie Sanders