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June 19, 2017

Sixers-Celtics trade now official, with weird protections on Kings pick as well

Our short local nightmare is over, as the Sixers and Celtics have completed the trade that will bring the top overall pick to Philadelphia. But we knew that already, just as we know that the Sixers will select University of Washington guard Markelle Fultz No. 1 overall.

What we didn't know about was the exact pick protections for the extra first-rounder that the Sixers sent to Boston in order to move up. Those are now official and we'll quote directly from the Sixers press release for the important details:

• The future first-round pick will be the Lakers' first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, provided that such pick is No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, or No. 5 in the 2018 NBA Draft.

• If the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick is No. 1 or is No. 6 or later, the Sixers will instead convey to the Celtics the rights to the more favorable of the Sixers’ own 2019 first-round pick or the Kings’ 2019 first-round pick, provided that the more favorable pick is not the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. If the more favorable of the Sixers’ and Kings’ 2019 first-round picks is the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Sixers will instead convey the rights to the less favorable of those two picks.

So basically, the Sixers are giving the Celtics the Lakers' pick next season if it falls in the 2-5 range. There is a decent chance that could happen. The trade provides some protection for both Philadelphia if they were to land the No. 1 overall pick (which they could use to select a star like Luka Doncic or Michael Porter) and Boston if it would slide out of the Top-5 prospects. In that scenario, the pick would convey to 2019.

In addition to "The Doncic Clause," the Celtics won't get the No. 1 pick in 2019 from Philadelphia, either. If Sixers are able to get the No. 1 pick with their own pick (doubtful) or the Kings' pick (more likely, but still not a good chance), they will get to make that one as well.

All in all, this looks like a very worthwhile gamble made by Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers front office.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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