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20 June 2017, 09:51 | Charlene Valdez
The Celtics-76ers blockbuster trade involving the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday night's draft is now official. The Los Angeles Lakers' choice at No. 2 has a little more mystery to it, but Ainge is confident the Celtics will land one of the players they want at No. 3.
The pick is protected at No. 1 and 6-30, meaning the Sixers would send the Kings' 2019 first-rounder or the Sixers' own 2019 first-rounder (each protected if No. 1) if the LA selection doesn't convey. There was a lot of conversation and evaluation on both sides, I'm sure.
In an interesting, and previously unknown stipulation in the deal, if either of those 2019 picks result in the first overall selection then Boston will instead receive the other first-round pick. One thing is clear - if the Celtics do keep the selection, they will take Tatum. They received Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall from the Milwaukee Bucks, who received Michael Carter-Williams from the Sixers and Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee from the Suns. "And when the right deals come around, we will move on them".
Because Fultz is also a terrific talent, there will be public debate about the Celtics' trade for a long time to come.
"It would be great", Fultz said of playing for the Sixers. They have a solid roster of good players, if not superstars, led by Thomas and Al Horford and complemented by Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley. The Celtics brought in Jayson Tatum for a work out as the team tries to decide between Tatum and Kansas product Josh Jackson. The Celtics are still looking into several different trade options, which is why their deal with the 76ers was finalized a few days before the draft. If the Lakers hold a pick between No. 2 and No. 5 next season, Boston now gets that one as well.
"It's certainly a trade that's under the microscope more than other trades", Ainge said. Now, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers have made this huge trade which is going to put Markelle Fultz in a totally different place than originally expected. "But we're not afraid of that". Fultz, 19, averaged 23.2 points (47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three), 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds last season.
To be fair, Philly GM Pat Williams (who coincidentally ended up in Orlando and also would ship off the top overall pick in the Penny Hardaway trade seven years later) admitted it was hard to get a grasp on that infamous draft class, which featured several players who struggled with drugs.
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