Philly gets No. 1 pick from Sixers, chance to draft Fultz

Ross Houston
June 20, 2017

In exchange for the top pick, the Celtics received the No. 3 pick in Thursday's draft and a conditional future first-rounder from the Philadelphia 76ers.

"I think he's supertalented, superexplosive", Bird said. "We came to a conclusion it was the right situation and the right point in the deal progression to make a deal, and we did".

It appears the Boston Celtics weren't the only ones wanting to go another direction with the No. 1 overall draft pick. The Celtics would take whichever one is more favorable. Ainge also downplayed the suggestion that Boston might have aided what might be its primary Eastern Conference competition down the road and said Boston's front office was unanimous on the decision to move down. The teams agreed to the deal over the weekend, hours after expected top pick Markelle Fultz worked out for the Sixers.

"We're getting the player we want".

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.

For now, Boston has seven first-round picks in the next three years. The Sixers had pursued the trade with the Celtics for the No. 1 pick since the draft lottery. 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.

This is the second straight season the 76ers will have the No. 1 pick. 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. "But we're not afraid of that".

The 19-year-old Fultz will join a line-up of young talent including 20-year-old Simmons, centres Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor, the No.3 picks in 2014 and 2015 respectively, plus Croatian forward Dario Saric. And we'll get an additional player that we want in next year's draft, or the year after.

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 25 games during his lone college season at Washington, excelling on a team that finished 9-22 and lost its final 13 games. The Aussie missed all of last season with a foot injury. He was the top freshman scorer in the country.

Most expect the Sixers to take Washington guard Markelle Fultz first overall and pair him with Ben Simmons, who missed what would have been his rookie season with a foot injury after going No. 1 past year. "That's not to say we won't explore the markeplace this year, but it feels like this core we are assembling has the ability to grow together".

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