The Boston Celtics were able to make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals this past season as the No. 1 seed in the conference. Along with having a successful and witnessing the continued rise of point guard Isaiah Thomas, the team was also able to land the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft which they have now traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to David Aldridge, the Celtics have agreed to trade the top pick in next week’s draft to Philadelphia:
Trade between Philly and Boston will be finalized on Monday, per source. Sides have agreed. Sixers will get first pick and take Fultz.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 18, 2017
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Sixers will send three first-round draft picks to Boston to move up:
Sources: For top pick, Sixers planning to send Celtics '17 No. 3 overall pick, '18 FRP (via LA) and '19 FRP (via Kings) – w/ protections.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 18, 2017
Throughout the entire process of evaluating talent ahead of the draft on June 22, all signs pointed to the Celtics taking Markelle Fultz out of Washington with the top pick. Fultz is widely considered to be the best prospect in this draft class and was thought to be a good addition alongside Thomas in the Boston backcourt.
Apparently, team president Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office had other ideas. Fultz appeared to be a fit and wanted to be drafted by Boston, but it wasn’t the direction the team was willing to go as they felt they could get more out of the trade with Philadelphia to bolster their already playoff-caliber roster.
Now the question is which players to do both teams take with their picks. Fultz will likely remain the No. 1 pick while the Celtics have a decision to make at No. 3. Josh Jackson out of Kansas may be the clear choice for Boston with his defensive-minded style of play which could prove to be a perfect fit under head coach Brad Stevens.
Of course, Boston’s pick will depend on what the Los Angeles Lakers do at No. 2. There’s a chance the Lakers go with Jackson instead of the projected pick of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.
It all remains up in the air at this point with no telling how things go down during the draft on June 22.