Late Saturday night, the NBA world was shaken by wild news as the Boston Celtics agreed in principle to send the right to the number one overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft to Philadelphia. The Sixers, who already have a plethora young talent will use the pick to select former Washington point guard Markelle Fultz.
The Sixers will send the Celtics, the rights to the number three pick in 2017 and either the 2018 Los Angeles Lakers pick or the rights to the 2019 Sacramento Kings pick which have protections enabled. Here is the breakdown as follows, the Celtics, who already own Brooklyn’s first round pick next year, will receive the Lakers 2018 pick if it falls in the draft order of two-five per a league source. If that fails to happen than the Sixers would keep the Lakers and would send the 2019 Sacramento Kings first round pick.
Crazy scenario given that Boston general manger Danny Ainge is known for getting the best of his constituents in terms of trade talk. Lets not forget how he absolutely abused Brooklyn all those years ago for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and its just starting to rear its ugly head. Trading away multiple first round picks that aren’t protected. If not for that sequence of events Brooklyn would be picking Fultz possibly with the top pick.
In his lone season with the Huskies, Markelle Fultz lead the NCAA in scoring with 23.2 points per game and was the singular star on a less the spectacular Washington Huskies squad. His 41.3 % from the three is going to pay dividends playing along side a player like Ben Simmons. Scouts say he is the perfect pick for Philadelphia and what they have already established. The Sixers needed a solid perimeter scorer and Fultz finished with a superb 50.2 shooting percentage and has drawn comparisons to James Harden on his shot making ability.
As for Boston, they now have the rights to seven first round picks in the next three NBA drafts. That’s an incredible haul for a team that was the top seed in the eastern conference. Will they use these assets to make a run at Jimmy Butler or Paul George? They also have the necessary cap space to make a run at Utah forward Gordon Heyward as he and current Boston head coach Brad Stevens have a connection from their NCAA tenure at Butler which led them to the NCAA championship game. You have to think Danny Ainge is in win now mode especially after being ousted in the eastern conference finals and losing marquee point guard Isaiah Thomas to a hip injury. I don’t think younger players, especially rookies will help you get past Lebron James who will certainly be looking for a ninth consecutive finals appearance and Boston will need to add more established talent around Horford and Thomas.
This gearing up to possibly start a shift in the NBA, this is what the process was all about. Acquiring assets to draw in young talented players or move up in future drafts to break the strangle hold of mediocrity the team has faced since post Iverson era begun. Now, has it all started to come together for Philadelphia and its championship starved fan base? It certainly is starting to appear that way and now, after years of being ridiculed and scrutinized by media and beat writers, they may all start watching a little closer. With this move, the Sixers are coming, sooner rather than later.