Celtics, Sixers agree to pick swap, Philly will draft Markelle Fultz

Lawrence Kim
June 19, 2017

The Celtics are in talks to deal their No. 1 pick to the Sixers ahead of Thursday's National Basketball Association draft, according to multiple reports. Barring some 11th-hour change of heart, the deal is set to be finalized on Monday.

ESPN's Marc Stein and Zach Lowe were the first to report late Friday afternoon that the C's and 76ers, the latter of whom hold the third overall pick, are in "serious talks" regarding a possible trade involving the top pick.

On the surface it doesn't generally make sense to trade the first pick in the draft as teams usually believe that they are going to be selecting a sure-fire good player, if not a regular All-Star. The Suns had originally acquired the pick from Los Angeles as part of the trade in 2012 that sent Steve Nash to the Lakers.

If that pick doesn't convey to the Celtics, the Sixers will send a 2019 first-round pick via the Sacramento Kings to Boston, league sources said. With the No. 3 pick, they could perhaps take a player like Kansas' Josh Jackson, an athletic, defensive wing that would fit their roster better. That haul will give the Celtics an opportunity to package all those firsts and make a run at an established star player to go with their current core group, featuring All-Stars Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford, and second-year forward Jaylen Brown. That's assuming, of course, that the Celtics will keep the No. 3 pick and aren't done dealing. Boston would get the pick if it's Nos. Boston has been linked to both Utah's Gordon Hayward and the Clippers' Blake Griffin for months. He missed 22 games because of an injury last season and hasn't played a full campaign since 2007-08. Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, Jahlil Okafor and others would be eligible extensions during the time of Lowry's contract with the 76ers, if the Sixers signed him to a four-year deal.

But there's finally, it seems, light at the end of the tunnel.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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