Celtics trade top pick to 76ers

Even if a trade involving a star doesn't develop during this year's draft, the Celtics would likely be making two top-3 selections in the 2018 National Basketball Association draft that could become future National Basketball Association superstars.

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The 76ers have the top pick and are said to be set on taking point guard Markelle Fultz of Washington, while U.C.L.A point guard Lonzo Ball is expected to be taken at No.2 by the Lakers.

For the Sixers, a team who has been acquiring draft picks and "trusting the process" for years now, this trade is precisely the type of move the team had been preparing to make. According to Draft Express which listed mock drafts even before the trade happened where Philadelphia gets the No. 1 pick, Markelle Fultz is the solid choice, the only choice for the Boston Celtics. And we'll get an additional player that we want in next year's draft, or the year after.

“We felt like the move from 3 to 1 was worth the cost of a first-round pick in the future, ” 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said.

There just wasn't enough assurance that the Lakers would take Lonzo Ball over Jackson for Ainge to make those comments.

"We think there's a really good chance the player we take at 3 is the player we would have taken at 1", Ainge told reporters in a conference call.

1 if this deal hadn't gone down.

The Celtics have been linked with either Josh Jackson of Kansas or Jayson Tatum of Duke at No. 3, although multiple media outlets reported the team may be willing to deal the pick. "They're getting the player they want", he said. "I believe I fill in every box on both ends of the floor".

So the way he looks at it, the deal is a win-win. Rumours continue to swirl, Jackson is secretly Boston GM Danny Ainge's prize pick of the litter. "With the certainty of No. 1, we know we control our circumstances". We watched the same Finals that everybody did. I think this is somebody they really wanted and stepped up to get.

Should the Pacers be able to deal George ahead of draft night and recoup a handful of assets, including a lottery pick on this year's draft, they would be headed in the right direction for their post-George existence.

In summary, the Celtics get a heap of picks and the 76ers get their point guard of the future in Fultz.

Fultz worked out for the Sixers on Saturday night. NBA.com says the news came from "league sources", while the one from Los Angeles Times only said Boston and Philadelphia "agreed in principle".

There are some conditions on the future first-rounder Boston gets out of this deal. Now, the Clippers have offered Boston C DeAndre Jordan for the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft. As a counter to that, the Celtics negotiated getting the more favorable of the 2019 first-round picks from Sacramento or Philadelphia (both now owned by the Sixers).

“This is certainly a trade that is under the microscope more than others, ” Ainge said. "But we're not afraid of that". He was the top freshman scorer in the country.

In 2016, the Sixers picked Ben Simmons, who didn't play at all during the season after breaking a bone in his foot.

Together with Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, the 76ers will have a young core of talent that could provide a formidable base upon which to rebuild the team.

"I am incredibly excited that we've acquired the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft", Josh Harris, Sixers Managing General Partner, said.

  • Julie Sanders