Celtics Trade Top Overall Draft Pick to 76ers
On Monday, the Boston Celtics officially announced that they have traded the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s draft to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return, the Celtics received the No. 3 overall selection as well as a future first-rounder.
The Celtics will get the Lakers’ first-rounder next season if it falls between No. 2 and No. 5 overall. If that doesn’t happen, Boston will receive whichever of the 76ers’ and Sacramento Kings’ first-rounders in 2019 that lands higher in the draft. If either the Sixers’ or Kings’ pick winds up No. 1 overall that year, the Celtics will get the lower pick.
Both Teams Pleased
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge issued the following statement on the deal:
“We’re thrilled to be able to select what we expect [to] be an impact player with the third pick in this year’s very talented draft class, while also adding a highly valuable future asset as we continue to build toward Banner 18.”
This will be the second consecutive year that the Sixers will make the top overall selection. Philly drafted LSU forward Ben Simmons No. 1 overall last year, though a foot injury suffered during training camp kept him out for his entire rookie campaign. The Sixers are widely expected to taken Washington guard Markelle Fultz with the pick.
76ers president Bryan Colangelo said the trade, “puts us in the enviable position of selecting first overall in consecutive draft years. History suggests that No. 1 has the greatest odds of producing franchise-level talent and we are confident that this year’s draft class has that very potential. Thursday night will see us take another significant step toward building a successful and sustainable basketball program.”
Who Goes No. 3?
At No. 3, the Celtics will likely take one of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Duke’s Jayson Tatum or Kansas’s Josh Jackson. Boston is in a rare position as a playoff team in possession of a high draft pick. The Celtics’ 53-29 mark was the best record in the Eastern Conference, and they’ll now be afforded the chance to add a high-caliber player to a deep and talented roster.
Ainge said that he is confident he will be able to land the player he was reportedly targeting with the No. 1 overall pick. Most indications seem to point toward Jackson being that player, though we won’t know until draft night who Ainge has his eye on.
Lakers At No. 2
The Los Angeles Lakers hold the No. 2 pick in the draft, and they are widely expected to take Ball, who hails from the L.A. area. There have been murmurs regarding the Lakers’ potential interest in trading the pick, possibly for Indiana Pacers star Paul George, who has made it known that he plans to leave Indiana after next season.
If they keep the pick, this will be the third straight year that the Lakers have picked second. L.A. drafted Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell two years ago before snagging Duke swingman Brandon Ingram at No. 2 last year.
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