After the Celtics and 76ers engaged in “serious talks” yesterday about the 76ers acquiring the #1 overall pick, both teams struck a deal today that will allow Philadelphia to pick Point Guard Markelle Fultz with the #1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft on Friday. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the 76ers will send Boston this year’s #3 overall pick, a 2018 first round pick (via LA), and a 2019 first round pick (via SAC, UPDATE: Only will go to Boston if 2018 pick doesn’t convey to due protection: via Wojnarowski). The Celtics will get the 2018 pick if it is 2-5, and if not, they will get the 2019 pick, but not both. The deal is said to be finalized on Monday.
Fultz spent one season at Washington University where he averaged 23 points per game. He is 6’4″ and has a 7’0″ wingspan that scouts have been craving. Unless the deal falls through, Fultz will join Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Dario Saric in the Philly in what looks to be a bright future to say the least. The Point Guard position was a big need for the 76ers that they are now able to fill a gap in the team, while adding this year’s top prospect. The 76ers finally cashed in their picks they’ve received over the years as part of their tanking effort. While former GM Sam Hinkie took the fall for the tanking, this trade wouldn’t have been possible without the trades he made. While it might have seemed bad in the moment, Sam Hinkie traded Michael Carter-Williams, Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, and Jason Thompson to get those two first round picks (LAL and SAC) to make the deal possible. And, the 76ers will get to keep one of those picks (depending if the 2018 pick does/doesn’t convey). Thanks to Hinkie’s genius moves, the 76ers have Markelle Fultz, and they still have their own first round picks the next few years. That’s genius. Sam Hinkie may no longer be a part of the 76ers, but 76er fans should be forever grateful.
On Boston’s side, Danny Ainge has collected more assets. The Celtics now have the #3 pick this year, 2/3 first round picks next year, and 3/4 in 2019 (6 total in 2018-19). The Celtics are right where they want to be, as reports have mentioned that the Celtics are looking for a star. The Celtics can pick Josh Jackson or Lonzo Ball this year and still have 6 first round picks to throw at either the Bulls or the Pacers. And, Paul George is a free agent next season, so if the Celtics are patient enough, they have the potential to draft Jackson/Ball, trade for Jimmy Butler, and try to pry Paul George away in free agency in 2018, while also having plenty of picks left. That sounds like the next NBA super team. If all these moves were able to happen, the Warriors might have some competition sooner rather than later.
This deal is a win-win for both sides. The 76ers are exchanging their picks, that they practically got for free, for a huge talent in Markelle Fultz, while the Celtics stockpiled more picks that could be turned into stars down the road. Both teams are in a great position heading into the NBA Draft and the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season.