Celtics trade No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick to 76ers

Philadelphia completed its trade for the No. 1 overall pick in this year's National Basketball Association draft, landing the pick from the Boston Celtics on Monday in a move that clears the way for the 76ers to grab guard Markelle Fultz.

Boston will receive the 2018 first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers - if that selection falls between the No. 2 to No. 5 range.

In addition to this year's No. 3 choice, the Celtics received another first-round pick that comes with several conditions.

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said he is "not afraid" of judgment after formally agreeing to trade the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's draft to the Philadelphia 76ers.

But the Sixers undoubtedly view their successful trade with the Celtics in which the Sixers have nabbed the No. 1 overall pick from Boston, as their biggest one yet.

Hart has already had two separate workouts with the Sixers leading up to the National Basketball Association draft and he's a familiar face to the Philadelphia region, who led the Wildcats to their second NCAA championship in 2016. With the Lakers zeroing in on UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, all signs point to Ainge taking Kansas swingman Josh Jackson with the third pick.

"I think even before the lottery, we've been evaluating these kids for a couple years, and we felt like it was very close with the top handful of players, and we still feel that way", Ainge said in a conference call Monday after the trade was formally announced. "I can't wait for the draft on Thursday and continue to move forward".

Anytime a team is awarded the No. 1 overall pick in a draft, it's an unbelievable opportunity to snag the next Hall of Fame player.

"This is certainly a trade that is under the microscope more than others", Ainge said. These seven picks, or the players they produce, allow Boston to acquire proven All-Star talent. "It's a good deal for both teams". While there have been inquires on the No. 2 pick, sources said it remains unlikely the Lakers would trade out of that position.

"We've got a really good friendship". The team believes that same player will be available to them now in the third slot. Boston needs to make sure they find the right fit for their franchise to lead the team in the future and be an immediate impact player.

Markelle Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals over 25 games last season for the University of Washington Huskies and will likely be heading to Philadelphia.

Celtics fans have been leery about moving down, particularly with all the buzz about Fultz.

Sixers big man Joel Embiid tweeted a photo of himself with Fultz, Simmons and Robert Covington along with the caption: "This should be legendary if it happens". If other teams weren't willing to give up multiple future picks for the opportunity to draft Markelle Fultz, than maybe he isn't as great as we think he will be?

  • Julie Sanders