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May 24, 2017

Sixers draft scenario du jour: Shipping Dario to Boston for top pick?

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There's just under a month left until the Sixers are on the clock with the third-overall pick, and that means we need something to kill time during the weeks leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft. 

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between now and the draft, Rich Hofmann and I will examine a different potential scenario for the Sixers. Some days, there will be trades. Other days, the Sixers may remain at three, but the players left on the board could be different due to another trade or a surprise pick. And since there are only two teams ahead of them, we should be able to get through a good amount of the most likely possibilities before June 22.

After we've outlined the scenario and offered our thoughts on the likelihood it actually happens and whether or not it should happen, we'll ask you for your thoughts on it. We also encourage you to elaborate in the comments section. When it gets closer to the draft, we'll put the results together in a single post to show you which outcome fans are most hopeful to see play out.

Here's a look back at the scenarios we've already covered:

•  An initial offer to Boston to move up to No. 1
•  Selling the No. 3 pick back to the Kings ... with interest

Let's get right into it:

THE SCENARIO

76ERS RECEIVE: No. 1 overall pick in 2017 NBA Draft
CELTICS RECEIVE: No. 3 overall pick in 2017, Sixers' own first-round pick in 2018, Dario Saric

WOULD IT WORK?

Rich Hofmann

Just like a few days ago, our draft scenario du jour involves the Sixers trading up to the No. 1 spot with the Boston Celtics. Unlike the last one, I can at least buy Boston being theoretically interested in this trade package. 

To me, the question here is pretty simple: What do you think of Markelle Fultz? Is the Washington guard a true No. 1 overall pick, head and shoulders above the rest of the class? Maybe the Celtics front office are big believers in Dennis Smith Jr., Josh Jackson, or someone else they will be able to draft at No. 3.

My answer is yes, I would make this deal. Fultz can play both with Ben Simmons off the ball and then run the Sixers offense when Simmons leaves the game. I just think he’s perfect for the direction that the NBA is moving, a pick-and-roll maestro who can make shots both off the dribble and catch.

Yeah, it would stink to see Dario leave. For someone who was “never coming over,” the guy is pretty darn good. I like a lot about Saric and the Sixers should be excited to have him moving forward. But the NBA is about landing stars, and if you believe Fultz is going to be one like I do, then The Homie is worth the price. 

Matt Mullin

Earlier this week, when we looked at a similar package, I mentioned this a possibility after seeing Derek Bodner (and hearing Bill Simmons) debate the merits of this move, I said it was a bit too much for me.

I do, however, believe that this would be enough to pry the top pick away from Danny Ainge and the Celtics. But I also think the deal involving Jahlil Okafor would be enough (or it's at least closer than you might think). Some vehemently disagree, but when you consider the fact that Boston would only have to move back two spots and can still land one of the best players in the draft, it makes a little more sense.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Sixers are in the best position of any team to put together an offer that the Celtics would strongly consider. My worry is that Ainge knows this, and he'll use that fact to make the Sixers essentially outbid themselves. 

Unlike Okafor, Saric has a role and fit on this team moving into the next stage of the rebuild. Would I give him up for Markelle Fultz? Of course. But that's not what the Sixers would be doing by making this deal. Instead, they would essentially be giving up a Rookie of the Year finalist for whatever you see as the difference between Fultz and Josh Jackson (or whichever player they're eyeing at No. 3). Either way – whether they trade The Homie or not – they'd likely still be in position to get one or the other. I hope that makes sense.

Basically, the Sixers are already in a good position. They need players, and Saric has proven to be one hell of a player. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

And don't forget to leave your feedback in the comments section below.


Follow us on Twitter: @matt_mullin  @rich_hofmann

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