June 16, 2017
After all of the trade rumors involving the Philadelphia 76ers moving down, Bryan Colangelo and the front office decided to go the other way. The Sixers made a franchise-changing move on Saturday in one way or another, striking a deal with the Boston Celtics for the top overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and Markelle Fultz.
In return, Philadelphia is sending the following: the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and, well, one of the weirdest protected picks in the history of the NBA. David Aldridge, Adam Himmelsbach, and Derek Bodner first reported the details.
Trade between Philly and Boston will be finalized on Monday, per source. Sides have agreed. Sixers will get first pick and take Fultz.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 18, 2017
According to league source, Celtics will receive the No. 3 overall pick this year & a protected future first-round pick from Philly, not two— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 18, 2017
Celtics will get Lakers pick if it falls between 2 and 5 in the 2018 draft, per league source. If not, the Celtics will get the Kings in '19— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) June 18, 2017
How about that for some Saturday night Sixers news?
With the trade, the Sixers roster will head into next season with a core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and now Fultz, the projected top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The University of Washington guard has been on top of mock drafts for the entire season and fits extremely well with the Sixers roster on paper.
Fultz, who worked out in Camden on Saturday night, has the reputation of someone who can play both on and off the ball, which is crucial next to a player with Simmons' skill set.
This wouldn't be the first time Fultz has been in Philadelphia recently. At the end of last season's Sixers schedule, he picked out a game to sit courtside at the Wells Fargo Center and observe what could potentially be his future home.
"I could see it happening, it would be a great atmosphere, it would be cool," the Upper Marlboro, Maryland native said that night of the Sixers possibly drafting him.
The other projected top players at the top of the draft are UCLA guard Lonzo Ball and Kansas forward Josh Jackson. For Boston, there are already trade rumors that they will package the No. 3 pick to acquire Chicago swingman Jimmy Butler and then go after more premium free agents later this summer.
Regardless of who they decide to draft, the Sixers roster now has a young core for the foreseeable future. Only time will tell if Colangelo made the right move in consolidating Sixers draft picks that former general manager Sam Hinkie acquired for the top overall selection. Only time will tell how Fultz (again, likely!) pans out as a professional and what the Celtics are able to do with the assets they acquired in the deal.
But regardless of how everything turns out, this trade qualifies as massive Sixers news. There is no mistaking that June 17, 2017 will go down as one of the most important days in the next decade of the Philadelphia 76ers, in some form or another.
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