Celtics, 76ers finalize deal to swap top picks


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. If not, Philadelphia will send Boston either its own first-rounder in 2019 or Sacramento's first-rounder that year. If UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball is taken by the Lakers with the second pick, the Celtics will have their choice of the two.

The thinking behind the trade, largely, is that the player the Sixers mosts covets in this year's draft - point guard Markelle Fultz, would not be available by pick 3, whereas the players the Celtics are circling - forward Josh Jackson and forward Jayson Tatum - nearly certainly will still be available at pick 3.

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound forward most likely will be available to the Celtics at No. 3, their new National Basketball Association draft position after the trade with the Philadelphia 76ers was finalized.

In 2016, the Sixers picked Ben Simmons, who didn't play at all during the season after breaking a bone in his foot.

Fultz worked out for the 76ers on Saturday evening and spoke to reporters after the workout, amid trade rumors. Whether it be late in the first round or a second-round pick, they need to think future soon, so expect some movement. "Pritchard has yet to show an inclination to engage the Lakers, but has discussed deals with several teams-including Cleveland-in which the expectation of teams would be that George is a 'one-year rental.' The Cavaliers are devoid of the kind of young players and future picks that in might want in return for George, and George has never mentioned the Cavaliers as an intriguing destination". "We think there's a really good chance the player we'll take at 3 is the same player we would have taken at 1". The trade only makes sense if they sense Boston would select Jackson at No. 3 overall.

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers made their agreed-upon trade official Monday, a deal that will see the teams swap the Nos.

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"We are certainly aware of our competition", Ainge said.

In his only season with Washington, Fultz averaged 23.2 points and 5.9 assists.

Sixers big man Joel Embiid tweeted a photo of himself with Fultz, Simmons and Robert Covington along with the caption: "This should be legendary if it happens".

Philadelphia went 28-54 this past season, after winning 19, 18 and 10 games respectively in the previous three seasons.

Likewise, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on "First Take" that the Bulls talked to the Sixers about trading Butler for the No. 3 pick. If the Lakers are as bad as they were this year, the Celtics could draft in the top three for a third consecutive year.