The blockbuster trade between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers for the first pick in the NBA Draft is now official.
The trade will likely result in the Sixers drafting standout Washington guard Markelle Fultz, who is widely regarded as the top prospect in the draft.
In return, the Celtics will receive the 76ers’ first-round pick this year — No. 3 overall — as well as one future first round pick. However, when that second pick will be used by the Celtics gets a little bit complicated.
For the trouble of swapping positions this year, the Celtics will also receive one of the following:
- The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick (which the Sixers currently own the rights to) if it ends up being pick 2, 3, 4, or 5 overall.
- If the Lakers pick does not fall in that range in 2018, the Celtics will choose between the Kings’ first-round pick in 2019 (which currerntly belongs to the 76ers) or the 76ers’ own first-round pick in 2019. However, if one of those picks turns out to be the first pick, the Celtics will receive the other one.
The caveats and protections act as a safeguard in case the Sixers get lucky in the lottery so that they don’t miss out on a potentially once in a generation talent, while still giving the Celtics another likely high first-round pick.
For the Celtics, who reportedly had other players on their draft boards they liked more than Fultz, the move is a savvy one — with Fultz heading to Philadelphia and Lonzo Ball still likely to be taken by the Lakers with the second pick, chances are the Celtics will be able to pick up the player they wanted anyways while also adding another first-rounder to their already loaded arsenal of upcoming draft picks.
For the Sixers, a team who has been acquiring draft picks and “trusting the process” for years now, this trade is precisely the type of move the team had been preparing to make. Fultz is a talented two-way player that gives the 76ers the ballhandler they sorely lacked.
We won’t officially know where any players are going until the draft kicks off on June 22nd, but at this moment the first pick appears to be all but a done deal.
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