Danny Ainge hints that the Celtics weren't going to take Markelle Fultz

It has been rumored that Ainge is really interested in drafting Josh Jackson from Kansas University, but he still could also trade the pick for an established star for a team that needs rebuilding.

The thinking behind the trade, largely, is that the player the Sixers mosts covets in this year's draft - point guard Markelle Fultz, would not be available by pick 3, whereas the players the Celtics are circling - forward Josh Jackson and forward Jayson Tatum - nearly certainly will still be available at pick 3.

The Celtics sent that pick to the Sixers for the No. 3 pick and the protected Los Angeles Lakers first-rounder in 2018, which the Sixers owned.

"We've been evaluating these kids for a couple of years, and we felt like it was very close in the top handful of players". In 2016, the Sixers picked Ben Simmons, who didn't play at all during the season after breaking a bone in his foot.

So we know the Philadelphia 76ers get Markelle Fultz (if they want him).

Ainge said he believes the Celtics may get the player they would have chosen at No. 1 at No. 3. Giving up the top pick and a chance to draft Markelle Fultz for a yet-to-be-identified future asset seems risky on its face, but Ainge insisted that he wasn't actually giving up anything in the trade.

While the 76ers appear to be targeting Fultz, the Celtics are rumored to be looking to trade down to draft forward Josh Jackson. "Two teams have two different agendas and you try to get to a common ground and where both sides feel comfortable moving forward and making a deal".

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

The former Celtics player, now their president of basketball operations, said the magnitude of the trade put it "under the microscope", and he acknowledged that he, as with others in his position, would be "judged" on how such big moves ultimately turned out.

"There may be one or two franchise-level players", Colangelo said.

Fultz, barring something shocking, will join a core in Philadelphia that includes Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and 2017 Rookie of the Year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. 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.

The NBA Draft is on Thursday night, and there will be a celebration in Philly for the second-straight year. The NBA offseason is made off rumors, and they make the offseason more entertaining than the regular season.

Boston, meanwhile, could potentially own the draft rights to seven first-round selections over the next three seasons. They have a solid roster of good players, if not superstars, led by Thomas and Al Horford and complemented by Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley.

  • Julie Sanders