Celtics Swap with Sixers: Markelle Fultz to Philly?

Markelle Fultz: the NBA’s brightest young talent?

Just when Markelle Fultz thought he would end up in Boston, the Celtics traded their top pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Here’s what we know about the deal and Fultz’s eventual fate:

The Celtics might have lost out on a potential superstar in Markelle Fultz, but they have armed themselves with a treasure trove of future first round picks.

As part of the deal, Philadelphia will send off their 3rd overall pick and a future first-rounder as well. On top of its No. 3 overall pick, Philadelphia is also sending the 2018 first-round ‎pick it owns via the Los Angeles Lakers, which the Sixers acquired from Phoenix at the 2015 trade deadline.

But if that 2018 pick doesn’t fall between No. 2 and No. 5 in the 2018 draft, Philly will instead send a 2019 first round pick to Boston that it acquired from the Sacramento Kings.

This will mark the second consecutive year that the Sixers draft first overall. Last year they spent the pick on Ben Simmons who missed the entire season with a foot injury. This year they’ll most likely nab Washington phenom Markelle Fultz. Many are predicting the 6’4″ 19-year-old to be the NBA’s next big thing.

It’s a big risk for Danny Ainge. But he remains confident in the move.

“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,” The Celtics president of basketball operations said in a statement.

With the Lakers’ selection of Lonzo Ball all but a formality, the Celtics will probably select KU’s Josh Jackson.

Josh Jackson will bring a wide array of skills to Boston's already stacked squad.

Josh Jackson will bring a wide array of skills to Boston’s already stacked squad.

Ainge said of the potential pick (without dropping names), “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. So this was a great opportunity to acquire an impactful asset.”

If that’s the case, if Fultz really was never slated to wear green and white, then this is a fantastic move on Boston’s part. Jackson posted 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season. He’ll likely fit right in with a roster stacked with backcourt talent.

Meanwhile, they now hold the keys to their own future to the tune of seven first-round picks in the next three drafts.