Lonzo Ball's draft stock stays strong with Lakers watching

Lynette Rowe
June 19, 2017

The Boston Celtics just made a move that may be questionable.

The Sixers and Celtics are said to have agreed in principle to a trade which will see the Celtics trade their No. 1 pick in this draft to the Sixers for the No. 3 overall.

There's little precedent to a trade of this magnitude, but history says the team that gives up the no. 1 pick in the draft typically fares pretty well. The Boston Celtics are trading the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's National Basketball Association draft to the 76ers for Philadelphia's No. 3 overall pick, plus other compensation.

Fultz - donning a 76ers cap as he arrived at the team's practice facility - visited the team in a hastily arranged get-to-know-you session, with the workout and meeting with team officials on his itinerary.

For the Philadelphia 76ers, the reason for the trade is clear - they wanted Washington guard Markelle Fultz. Both of them are two-way players who can score and defend with the best the National Basketball Association have to offer.

The Lakers have engaged at least two other teams in the lottery, sources said, as they search for players to improve their outside shooting and perimeter defense.
That's probably what Jackson had in mind when he took aim at Fultz. "I wake up every morning and get ready to go to the gym". I'm truly blessed to be in this position. "I think I'm just a hard worker, and I'll do whatever it takes to help whatever team I go to, to win".

With the trading of the top overall pick (and the opportunity to draft Fultz), that question has been answered.

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Forget the "superstar" predictions about Fultz made by people who wouldn't have known the kid if he walked into the room a month ago.

A player that does fit, however, is Duke forward Jayson Tatum, whose scoring prowess would highly benefit a team desperate for any offense from someone not named Isaiah Thomas. If he becomes the superstar that scouts project, the price paid to get him will nearly certainly be worth it. And if he gets to start his pro career by calling Philadelphia his new home, he'll be living roughly a 2½-hour drive from his hometown of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

"He and I have been talking before when I was in college", Fultz said. It's been a blessing.

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. Fultz led the Pac-12 in scoring and finished No. 6 among all Division I players, and he was the top freshman scorer in the country. Only Kevin Durant for Texas in 2006-07 and Michael Beasley for Kansas State in 2007-08 were better and they were No. 2 picks in their respective draft classes.

By passing on him, Boston is resting its hopes both in the potential of Jackson, assuming they land him, and the ability to procure even more game-changing talent this summer, as well as each of the next two years.

As part of the deal, the Celtics got the No. 3 overall pick, as well as either the Los Angeles Lakers' 2018 first round pick (must fall between picks 2-5) or the Sacramento Kings' 2019 first round pick.

It hasn't even been a week since the NBA Finals ended, and the league's world is already long past the end of the 2016-17 season, as reports of a blockbuster trade hit Friday.

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