Celtics, 76ers Finalize Blockbuster Draft Deal

On Friday night, multiple reports came out that the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics are currently working on a deal to send the #1 overall pick to Philadelphia. In the end, Boston will be sending over the first overall pick to the Philadelphia. In return, they will receive the third overall pick, as well as a projected first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, which is protected. 

Heading into last season, the Boston Celtics were projected to be fighting for a 5th or 6th seed in the playoffs. In reality, the team surprised everyone, finishing with a regular season record of 53-29, which enough to win the Atlantic Division and earn the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs, the team got past the Chicago Bulls in round one within six games, as well as the Washington Wizards in round two in seven games. This lead to the C’s getting eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. Throughout the entire season, the Celtics proved a lot of critics wrong with their late game heroics.

As for the Philadelphia 76ers, the franchise did not have any expectations whatsoever, as just about everyone expected them to be at the bottom of the league for the fourth consecutive year. The team improved in the departments of wins, finishing with a record of 28-54, which happened to be the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Even though the team finished towards the bottom, the 76ers do have a bright future. With the likes of Joel Embiid, Jahil Okafor, and Ben Simmons, who is looking to make his NBA debut this upcoming season after his rookie season was cut short due to injury, there is a lot of potential within the starting lineup.

On Philadelphia’s side of things, this deal came at a really steep price, as they gave up two first-round picks in order to move up to the #1 overall pick this year. The team already has solid starting pieces to build around in Embiid, Okafor, and Simmons, so it is time for the team to stop stockpiling draft picks and turn those into players that can turn the franchise around.

With the first overall pick, it is expected that the 76ers will select point guard Markelle Fultz out of the University Of Washington. Last season, Fultz averaged 23.2 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, and 5.9 assists per game. Fultz also proved that he can be a franchise point guard for years to come with his ability to score and pass the ball. The team needs a point guard that can lead, and Fultz has the skill set and the ability to do just that.

On the Celtics side of things, this is a great move, as they receive potentially two top-ten picks within the next few years. With the first pick, the team was most likely going to draft Fultz, but the Celtics already have two solid point guards in Isiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. With the third overall pick, there are two ways the team could go. One way the team could go is to send that draft pick to the Chicago Bulls in order to receive superstar Jimmy Butler, who is someone that will be able to help the C’s right away. The other way the team could go with this draft pick is addressing a need that the team has right now, and that is a small forward.

With the third overall pick, the team will most likely select shooting guard/small forward Josh Jackson out of the University of Kansas. Last season, Jackson averaged 16.3 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game, and 3.0 rebounds per game. The biggest problem for the Celtics last season was their ability to get rebounds at the right time. With Jackson potentially coming in, he could be a big help in trying to fix this problem.

Photo Credit Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

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