On Monday, June 19, the Boston Celtics finalized their trade that will send the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Philadelphia 76ers. The news was announced this past weekend when Markelle Fultz delayed his plans to travel to Boston to meet with the Celtics and instead had to detour his plans to Philly. After Fultz’s workout with the 76ers on Saturday, the franchise had seen enough to make the decision to make a deal with the Celtics that would allow them to draft Fultz at No. 1.
The Philadelphia 76ers are excited to be in position for the second consecutive season to select the No. 1 prospect in the NBA Draft. General Manager Bryan Colangelo had positive words on Monday afternoon in a press conference confirming the trade between the two rivaled organizations.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this trade, which puts us in the enviable position of selecting first overall in consecutive draft years,” Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in the statement.
“History suggests that No. 1 has the greatest odds of producing franchise-level talent and we are confident that this year’s draft class has that very potential. Thursday night will see us take another significant step toward building a successful and sustainable basketball program.”
Since the news spread over the weekend of the trade, many NBA fans have already begun trusting in the process. Pairing Fultz with Philly’s young core of stars such as Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Dario Saric, has many folks calling the Sixers the team to beat in the near future.
Hangin' with the fellas. pic.twitter.com/KNFjdoF0gN
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 18, 2017
Although the news was discovered over this past weekend, the details of what Philly would be giving up wasn’t informed until this Monday. The 76ers will be giving up their 2018 first-round pick that was received via the Los Angeles Lakers, which they acquired during the 2015 NBA season from the Phoenix Suns. They also, of course, will be trading their No. 3 pick in this year’s NBA draft as well.
The Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said that “he feels the player they would have selected No. 1 will still be on the board at No. 3” when the team is ready to pick. It has been rumored that Ainge is really interested in drafting Josh Jackson from Kansas University, but he still could also trade the pick for an established star to a team that needs rebuilding.
Jimmy Butler has been the guy most people around the league believe the Celtics are most interested in going after. Gordon Hayward has also been a favorite considering his former coach in college Brad Stevens is the current head coach for the Celtics. Both superstars could be just what the Celtics need to add to be a real contender to win an NBA title.
Regardless of what moves they eventually decide to make, the trade between Boston and Philly will certainly help a long-standing rivalry return back to its competitive days. Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Larry Bird just might be sitting back enjoying all of this.
Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Larry Bird just might be sitting back enjoying all of this.
[Featured Image by Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images]