In a move that didn’t shock many people, the Celtics decided to stand pat at the point guard spot for now, and will stick with NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, and will look to make a move on the wing to strengthen themselves to make a serious challenge to the Cavs next year.
In doing so, they traded the No.1 pick to the Philadelphia 76’ers, and received the Sixers No.3 pick plus a first round pick in either 2018 or 2019.
They will most likely take 6’8 Josh Jackson from Kansas, who is the most complete two-way player in the draft. He will give them a wing who can defend either forward spot, and a slashing wing who can score in traffic or make pass off drive that will benefit Thomas and others on the Celts who can knock down the jumper with regularity. The Celtics felt this was an excellent opportunity to add to their future picks, yet still get the player they coveted the most in the draft according to Club President Danny Ainge.
“We feel good about this move,” Danny Ainge said. “We felt the player we wanted most would be available at number three, just as well as at number one. Plus picking up additional draft opportunities allows us to continue to build for the future.”
Boston will receive the 2018 first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers if that selection falls between the second to 5th picks. Otherwise, the Celtics will have a choice between the better 2019 first-round pick between Sacramento or Philadelphia.
In all, the Celtics could possibly own draft rights to 7 first-round choices over the next 3 seasons.
The 76’ers will receive the No.1 pick in the draft and are expected to draft 6’4 point guard Markell Fultz out of the University of Washington. Fultz has been at the top of the draft for most of the spring because of his tremendous athletic gifts, quickness and ability to create, score or deliver the rock off the dribble. He is a talent that will fit in with a young 76’er squad and makes 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo confident that this swap was the right thing for his club.
“History suggests that number one has the greatest odds of producing franchise-level talent and we are confident that this year’s draft class has that very potential,” Colangelo told ESPN. “Thursday night will see us take another significant step toward building a successful and sustainable basketball program.”
One knock that the 76’ers are going to have to overcome is the fact, that both of their number one picks struggled to win in college finishing under .500 at LSU and Washington. But, potentially this young team could develop into a true challenger to the Cavs and Celtics in time.
They will feature a nucleus that features, last year’s No.1 6’9 Ben Simmons, 6’11 Jahlil Okafor and two 2017 Rookie of year finalist in 7’1 Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. An albeit young, but talented foundation for the future.