Post-game Reactions

The Boston Celtics are trading the N0. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the No. 3 pick and a future first-rounder. David Aldridge first reported the deal, which will be finalized on Monday.

The possibility of such a deal was widely discussed on Friday afternoon, but Philadelphia had yet to meet with Markelle Fultz, the presumptive top talent in the draft. After a successful session with the 76ers on Saturday, the two teams came to terms with specifics on the transaction. In addition to the No. 3 pick in this years draft, Boston will also receive Los Angeles Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick, which Philly had earned in previous trade.

There are stiff protections on the LA pick, and the selection will only transfer if the Lakers fall between 2nd and 5th in next year’s draft lottery. Here’s a little bit on the math behind this outcome. Otherwise, Boston will receive Sacramento’s 2019 first-round draft pick. It’s possible the specific stipulations will change between now and when the deal is officially announced on Monday.

Some have speculated that the Celtics front office don’t see Fultz as the clear-cut ringer among top selections in the upcoming draft. For that reason, trading down and picking up a future first-round pick means Boston could draft their favorite player while also reeling in a new asset. Likewise, the difference in salary owed to the first and third pick is nearly $1.38 million, which could be a key factor for a Celtics team anticipating a busy summer and a tight salary cap. And as always, it’s possible president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has a bigger move in store.

As for the 76ers, the addition of Fultz is an exciting one. For years Philadelphia has wallowed in ineptitude in an effort to build the right roster, and with Fultz joining Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington and others, the 76ers could finally be ready to take a real step forward. Shortly before the deal was announced, Embiid posted this enticing photo of what will likely be Philly’s core the foreseeable future.

Once again, this deal is expected to be officially announced sometime on Monday. Barring major changes, expect the above to hold, and for other trade rumors to dominate during draft night and beyond.

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Cameron Tabatabaie

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