PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Philadelphia 76ers stole the headlines across the nation this weekend with the acquisition of the top selection in the upcoming NBA draft from the Boston Celtics.
The Sixers made a deal that would allow them to draft the consensus number one player in the draft by the name of Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington. This was a no-brainer for Philadelphia, considering that they needed a guard who could play alongside primary ball handler Ben Simmons.
Fultz is only a 19-year-old kid, who put up monster numbers for the Huskies in his freshman campaign. He posted an average of 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds last season. The top selection is a threat from anywhere on the floor, but primarily from behind the arc. He shot 47.6 percent and 41.3 percent from three-point range.
Philadelphia receives Boston’s No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
Boston is provided Philadelphia No. 3 selection in the 2017 NBA draft as a swap. Additionally, they have the rights to the 2018 Lakers first rounder or the 2019 Kings pick (protections).
Incase you needed clarification on the exact details of the deal:
Adding Fultz makes Philadelphia basketball relevant again in this town. It has been way to long! He adds much needed firepower to a position that desperately needed to be addressed. This move puts this team on the map with Simmons running the show. Fultz does not have to be the face of the franchise either, unlike Lonzo Ball.
Staying at three in this draft meant taking another wing in Josh Jackson who struggles shooting the basketball. Jackson might be the best player down the line, but he does not help the Sixers’ backcourt problem.
Ball could be a pain with his father and will most likely be joining the Lakers. If he falls, it won’t last long with Phoenix chomping at the bit on draft night. The Sixers did do their homework with both De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk with evaluations in private workouts. Fox has speed to excel, while Monk can flat-out shoot the lights out.
Fultz at the end of the day was a perfect match for both sides. He was worth going up two spots in the long-run. The idea of a playoff run is a strong possibility.
GM Danny Ainge better be right after dealing the top selection in the draft. He believes his backcourt is set with Isiah Thomas and company. That leaves Boston with Jackson in the draft, who most believe will go third after Ball.
This squad appeared to be the only team to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, so adding another wing to guard Lebron James does not hurt. With that being said, they think they can win now.
That means adding a superstar to go alongside Thomas. Ainge has done his best Sam Hinkie impression by hoarding first round picks. His treasure chest of picks makes people believe they are in a prime position to add one of these three superstars:
- Jimmy Butler – There have been reports of a three-team deal with Butler heading to Boston. This is a strong possibility as the Bulls can rebuild with the amount of assets that would be sent its way. Think about Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and the Philadelphia No. 3 (’17), as a start.
- Paul George – On the market, already said he prefers to go to Los Angeles when he hits free agency next summer. Asking price already set for a “rental” would be one starter and a pair of first rounders (little steep.. but they do have the pieces to pull it off).
- Anthony Davis – Highly unlikely, but Boston has enough ammo to make an offer that they can’t refuse. They could offer five first round picks: Philadelphia No. 3 (’17), Lakers/Kings from the trade, Nets (’18), Clippers (’19), and Memphis (’19).
This was a good deal on both ends. Boston can potentially scoop up a veteran superstar, while Philadelphia builds its core through the draft.
Therefore creating excitement in the air about Sixers’ basketball. Seems to only be happening in the off-season … hope that changes. A new “big three” can emerge this season with the likes of Embiid, Simmons, and potentially Fultz after the draft on Thursday night.
Stay tuned, the fun is just getting started in Philadelphia! (Fingers crossed)