76ers Trade With Celtics For No. 1 Pick

On Monday afternoon, the Sixers officially traded the No. 3 selection in Thursday night's NBA Draft, as well as the Lakers' 2018 protected pick, to the Celtics in exchange for the No. 1 overall choice.

The Los Angeles Lakers' 2018 first-round pick (which the Sixers now own the rights to) if it ends up being pick 2, 3, 4, or 5 overall. If not 2018, the Celtics will likely receive either Sacramento's or Philadelphia's first round pick in 2019, whichever is more favorable.

The Sixers are expected to select Washington guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft. Players are still working out for teams and teams are still trying to make deals.

What is interesting is that this is only one of a handful of times in league history that a team has traded the first overall selection between the time that the draft order was announced and the actual start of the National Basketball Association season. One thing is clear - if the Celtics do keep the selection, they will take Tatum. Based on what he said, the team's front office hasn't fully settled on who to take with the pick, but has narrowed down the list. "And unanimously we're excited about this deal".

And then come the Celtics, starting the real intrigue. While passing on Fultz doesn't guarantee that trio will be back next season, moving down to No. 3 in the draft (a position where wing prospects are expected to be the best players on the board) indicates that Ainge is content building with some members of his current backcourt core. They really didn't. Three extra first-rounders is a ton of value to drop two spots to take the player you liked better anyway.

The Celtics have been linked with either Josh Jackson of Kansas or Jayson Tatum of Duke at No. 3, although multiple media outlets reported the team may be willing to deal the pick.

Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, said on Monday that the organization could not be happier with the transaction.

"This is certainly a trade that is under the microscope more than others, but we're not afraid of that", added Ainge.

As far as the Cavaliers go, I fully expect them to trade for at least one pick somewhere in this draft. If the Lakers are as bad as they were this year, the Celtics could draft in the top three for a third consecutive year. The Celtics are in pretty good shape, with the team making it to the Eastern Conference Finals this year with help from star point guard Isaiah Thomas. He shot 47.6 percent, averaged along with 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals over 25 games during his freshman season with the Huskies, who posted a 9-22 record.

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