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

Ross Houston
June 20, 2017

The Boston Celtics have traded out of the No. 1 pick.

Last week prior to the rumored trade between Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that Lonzo Ball's camp is considering talks to other teams that have lottery picks below the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jo Jo seems pretty pumped about it. If not, the Celtics will instead receive either Sacramento's or Philadelphia's first round pick in 2019, whichever is more favorable.

The player Philadelphia wants is clear: The 76ers wouldn't say it Monday, but they're going to take Fultz barring something cataclysmic happening before Thursday. Then again, a one-year rental may be intriguing to the Cavs if it would guarantee a fourth shot at the Warriors and a chance to even their rivalry.

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, who went 9-22.

But while Colangelo's shot fired Ainge's way could be a bit of gamesmanship with a rival he's expecting to battle against as the East's next great team, it was more a sign of respect from Colangelo, who admitted that it's hard to do business with Ainge because they know one another so well dating back to their days with the Suns. Philly and Boston thought of it as a win-win situation, with both believing there's "little difference" in the level of talent between the first and third picks. But what, now that the Celtics have picked up what could be the 12th pick in the 2019 draft in order to move down two spots, they should suddenly be OK with moving their top pick for Butler? "We're getting the player we want".

The Philadelphia 76ers are excited to be in position for the second consecutive season to select the No. 1 prospect in the NBA Draft. They selected Ben Simmons a year ago, but he missed all of the 2016-17 season with a broken foot.

If Ainge's goal was to gather even more assets for an even bigger trade for a proven talent, Mannix adds that Markelle Fultz the player is a much better trade asset than a future protected pick.

Boston, meanwhile, could potentially own the draft rights to seven first-round selections over the next three seasons.

The Cavs, still licking their wounds after being blasted by the Golden State Warriors in the recently concluded National Basketball Association finals, are in play as well.

General manager David Griffin's contract expires June 30, and it remains unclear if he will stay with the organization he guided to its first championship and three straight NBA Finals.

"We've been evaluating these kids for a couple of years", Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told reporters via conference call on Monday.

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