76ers get No. 1 pick from Celtics, chance to draft Fultz


The Sixers will, nearly assuredly, use the top pick on Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, while the Celtics are still mulling all of their options with the third pick, whether Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, or trading it away for veteran help.

Philadelphia and Boston completed their trade of draft picks on Monday, the 76ers acquiring the No. 1 pick from the Celtics and netting the chance to draft Washington guard Markelle Fultz.

Whatever the case, the Celtics president of basketball operations will make a move at some point.

Ainge, who said this was the best offer they got for the pick by far, seemed to indicate in his Monday availability that he plans on using the No. 3 overall pick and selecting a player, and stated that it's the player the Celtics were considering at No. 1 anyways. If the pick does not fall in that range, the Celtics will instead receive whichever is more favorable between the 76ers' and Sacramento Kings' first-rounders in 2019. But with Paul George reportedly telling the Indiana Pacers he plans on heading elsewhere after next season - and the Cleveland Cavaliers potentially emerging as a trade destination - would the Lakers pass on Ball to make a package deal for the star swingman? "History suggests that No. 1 has the greatest odds of producing franchise-level talent and we are confident that this year's draft class has that very potential". Should that happen, and the Sixers progress as anticipated into being even a middle of the pack playoff team in the East by 2019, the Celtics would end up with a pick outside of the lottery.

For now, Boston has seven first-round selections in the next three years. Lonzo Ball could also become a Celtic if the Lakers decide to take Jackson second overall. The Celtics brought in Jayson Tatum for a work out as the team tries to decide between Tatum and Kansas product Josh Jackson.

The only real gap for the Celtics is at power forward, and they might be able to fill it one way or another, having traded for plenty of value for this year and others to come. After finishing with the No. 1 seed in the East this season, they are trying to package some of their picks for an established star that could help them close the gap on National Basketball Association finalists Cleveland and Golden State. Fultz would join a Philadelphia roster that includes Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and 2017 Rookie of the Year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.

The biggest determining factor in whether this trade is viewed as a win for the Sixers or a win for the Celtics is how Fultz produces at the National Basketball Association level.

Philadelphia invited presumptive No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz into town for a workout over the weekend. 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. "This pick provides us a tremendous opportunity to add another foundational player to our promising core".