Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

76ers, Celtics agree on trade for No. 1 pick

76ers, Celtics agree on trade for No. 1 pick

Almost four decades later, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who has often referenced Auerbach's fearless and emotionless approach to roster construction, traded the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft - or the right to draft Fultz - to the Philadelphia 76ers for a pair of first-round picks that Ainge must believe will eventually help Boston take a step forward in its quest to return to title contender again.

Trying to place yourself inside the mind of Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge is an exhausting exercise, but that's what National Basketball Association nuts will do this week (or longer, if the Celtics simply stand pat and make their pick at No. 3). After a stellar season with the Washington Huskies, Fultz was the consensus choice to go first overall.

Fultz donned a Philadelphia cap as he arrived at the team's practice facility for a hastily arranged get-to-know-you session, with the workout and a meeting with team officials on his itinerary.

After the Boston Celtics trade with the Philadelphia 76ers become finalized, the Celtics will focus their attention on Jimmy Butler, and to a lesser degree Paul George. Yes, Philadelphia is home for Lowry and the team, which has many huge Lowry fans in its braintrust, has the cash to sign him and is now closer to being competitive than it has been in years, but Fultz plays his position.

WITH THE finalization of the trade with Boston that will garner the No. 1 pick for the 76ers in Thursday's draft expected to be announced sometime Monday, it's as good a time as any to start taking a look at the roster: Who may fall into what role and who may not be in the plans moving forward. Fultz, the talented guard out of Washington who has always been the presumptive No. 1 pick in the draft, worked out for the Sixers on Saturday instead of a previously scheduled meeting with the Celtics. Regardless, since many consider Fultz as this year's 1st overall pick, the Lakers can't take him at No. 2. Perhaps, as one Philadelphia 76ers article said months ago, Karma steered Markelle Fultz to the Philadelphia 76ers all along.

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"I had some stuff going on with my knee - I don't really want to address it", Fultz said. Just being with a young team, I think the upside of it would be insane. "It just shows how much hard work I out in and how dedicated I am to do what I do". The electric guard averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds during his freshman season, but he failed to fill the most important part of the stat sheet - wins.

Though the Celtics value Fultz' overall potential as a lead scorer who can fit in with Thomas better than all the other backcourt talent in this point guard-heavy draft, they may actually may value Kansas 6-8 forward Josh Jackson more for his two-way potential.

It also happened a couple of times in the 1950s (including a Bill Sharman heist by the Celtics), but the most famous iteration of this type of deal came in 1980, when Boston sent the top pick, Joe Barry Carroll, to Golden State for No. 3 (Kevin McHale) and Robert Parish, who both went on to become members of the Hall of Fame.

The same questions about fit will now surround Philadelphia's backcourt, although Ben Simmons - who missed his entire rookie season past year while recovering from a foot injury - can be more of a traditional point guard than Thomas, and won't require the ball in his hands as much.

With Fultz slated to go number one overall to Philadelphia, both Jackson and Ball might have a change of heart leading up to Thursday's draft.

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"Embiid, he and I have been talking before when I was in college", Fultz said. He was a pretty cool guy.

Embiid's tweet proclaimed "Trust the Process", the Sixers mantra seemingly for years. "It was what's best for me as a player (to sit out)".

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