Celtics, 76ers finalize blockbuster deal to swap top picks

Lynette Rowe
June 20, 2017

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are at the forefront of the attention after news broke over the weekend that both teams would be swapping first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, which is scheduled for Thursday.

The usually ho-hum NBA Draft suddenly got incredibly interesting overnight, with the confirmation of the long-suspected trade between Philly and the Boston Celtics, that will now see the Sixers pick first overall in the draft, rather than the Boston boys.

Jo Jo seems pretty pumped about it.

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.

Boston will get the Sixers' pick, No. 3 overall, and another first-rounder in 2018 or 2019.

I believe, though am not certain, the Celtics would have picked Fultz if they kept the No. 1 pick.

While the 76ers appear to be targeting Fultz, the Celtics are rumored to be looking to trade down to draft forward Josh Jackson.

ANALYSIS: Should the Philadelphia 76ers decide to pick Lonzo Ball, there are other options left for the Los Angeles Lakers who will pick at No. 2.

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The disparity between the top picks is so small that trading the first pick away in this draft is justifiable.

And that means the Celtics could be gearing up for more moves soon.

Fultz, the versatile Washington guard who worked out for the Sixers on Saturday evening, is the consensus top player and clearly the best fit in Brett Brown's system. 2-5 in the draft lottery. "They're getting the player they want", he said. "That's our goal. That's where we want to be".

"We've got a much better idea of where we are today than just a few days ago", Colangelo said.

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.

"I think January gave everyone a taste of what success feels like", Colangelo said. During his work at the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Season 2016-17, he was able to garner an average of 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game.

He's also leaving three days before the draft - the Cavs are now without a pick - and on the eve of free agency.

Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. "This pick provides us a tremendous opportunity to add another foundational player to our promising core". Griffin has also maneuvered around some restrictions - the Cavaliers now are without a pick in this year's draft - to re-shape Cleveland's roster, which needs tweaking again after the Warriors exposed an aging bench in their third Finals matchup with the Cavs.

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