Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Celtics, 76ers finalize deal to swap top picks

General manager Danny Ainge's decision to swap the team's No. 1 overall pick with the Philadelphia 76ers' No. 3 pick and an additional future first-rounder drew the ire of fans hoping to see former Washington guard Markelle Fultz in a Celtics uniform. One of the biggest rumors in the National Basketball Association right now is that the 76ers are looking to trade the number three overall pick to the Boston Celtics for the number one overall pick.

Jo Jo seems pretty pumped about it. The Celtics added a valuable asset in the process - the Lakers' 2018 first-rounder if it falls 2-5 or, if not, the higher of the Kings' and 76ers' 2019 first-rounders (unless one is No. 1, in which case it'd be the lower of the selections).

The Celtics and 76ers had agreed on the parameters of a deal on Saturday night after Philadelphia held a workout with Fultz, who will become the fourth No 1 overall pick in franchise history by the 76ers at the draft to be held in Brooklyn.

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With just 28 wins a year ago, and just 75 total wins over the last four seasons, there's been little to celebrate for the Sixers. Per's David Aldridge, the Pacers might seek upwards of two first-round draft picks packaged with a starter for George.

The Celtics could be gearing up for more moves.

The Philadelphia 76ers are excited to be in position for the second consecutive season to select the No. 1 prospect in the NBA Draft. Right now, Hayward appears to be the more likely option with recent reports from league executives suggesting a trade for Butler is "more on speculation than reality".

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He's also leaving three days before the draft - the Cavs are now without a pick - and on the eve of free agency.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover is less optimistic about Fultz, a 19-year-old who averaged 23.2 points per game for a struggling Huskies team during his one college season.

"We haven't taken a step outside the draft", Colangelo said. They have a supremely talented young core, but will be relying on two players, Ben Simmons and presumably Markelle Fultz, who have yet to play a second in the National Basketball Association, plus another, Joel Embiid, with a long history of health issues.

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This would then worsen the chance that the Lakers get a top five pick in next year's draft. First, they can get Josh Jackson to be Brandon Ingram's backup at No. 3 or Jordan Clarkson's backup at No. 2. "I think he's more National Basketball Association ready than Josh Jackson; both of these guys have flaws and neither one is a great shooter. And when the right deals come around, we will move on them". Fultz would join a Philadelphia roster that includes Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and 2017 Rookie of the Year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. "We felt it was very close in the top handful of players; we still feel that way".

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