26 June, 2017
"I think even before the lottery, we've been evaluating these kids for a couple years, and we felt like it was very close with the top handful of players and we still feel that way", Ainge said in a conference call Monday after the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers formally announced their swap. If it is not, the Celtics will instead receive either Sacramento's or Philadelphia's first round pick in 2019, whichever is more favorable.
The Sixers and Celtics agreed to a trade that sees Philly acquire this year's #1 pick, in exchange for this year's #3 pick, and a future first round draft pick. Fultz, who went to high school in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, led the Pac-12 in scoring and finished No. 6 among all Division I players. With money to spend and draft picks to trade, the Celtics need to land at least one of these players to pair with the current Celtics squad and their draft pick on Thursday.
Philadelphia will send its 2018 Lakers pick to Boston, provided it falls between No. 2 and No. 5.
"I think he's super talented", said Bird, who played against Fultz in a Pac-12 game this past season.
It also highlights that both teams have very experienced front office executives who are doing everything in their power to put their respective organizations in the best possible position to get better, maximizing what they can get with their assets.
The player Philadelphia wants is clear: The 76ers wouldn't say it Monday, but they're going to take Fultz barring something cataclysmic happening before Thursday. The Los Angeles Lakers will select second overall. Washington point guard Markelle Fultz has always been widely regarded as the best draft prospect, who Philadelphia is now expected to pick, but Ainge indicated Monday that his team's evaluation was not so clear-cut. In that scenario, the pick would convey to 2019.
In his only season with Washington, Fultz averaged 23.2 points and 5.9 assists. If Tatum or Jackson develop into the players they are projected to be, screwing up the third pick might be just as impossible as screwing up the first pick.
"We are certainly aware of our competition", Ainge said.
So much so that he cracked a joke at the expense of Celtics president Danny Ainge.
PLAYA VISTA, Calif. - Hall of Famer Jerry West, fresh off helping the Golden State Warriors win another National Basketball Association championship, is now officially a consultant with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Colangelo chose not to disclose a name, but Fultz is the consensus No. 1 pick of the draft.