The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are “deep” into trade discussions revolving around the Celtics’ No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, according to reports from ESPN and Yahoo.
ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported that the two teams are having “serious” trade talks.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski followed it up saying presumed No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz could be visiting Philadelphia on Saturday, a sign of how advanced the talks are.
According to Stein and ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the deal is expected to only involve picks, no players. That could mean a swap of the Celtics’ No. 1 pick and and the 76ers’ No. 3 pick this year, plus a future first from the Sixers.
With the draft less than a week away, the deal could signal a shake-up for both teams. The 76ers, with a core that includes Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Ben Simmons, could add another ball-handler, floor-spacer, and the top prospect in the draft in Fultz.
The Celtics, meanwhile, would continue plotting for the future and collecting assets, biding their time until they find the right move. While the No. 1 pick would obviously be nice, there’s been debate over how much the Celtics would want a player like Fultz when they have thrived with Isaiah Thomas handling playmaking duties. 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.
The deal could also affect how other teams draft. For example, if the 76ers were higher on UCLA’s Lonzo Ball than Fultz, perhaps they would want to jump to No. 1 to take Ball before the Lakers, who are heavily rumoured to be interested in Ball. That could leave the Lakers to look elsewhere, and could affect other teams’ boards.
Such a trade still has plenty of time to happen, but a deal for No. 1 is somewhat rare in the NBA and could have some league-wide ramifications.
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