The pick is protected at No. 1 and 6-30, meaning the Sixers would send the Kings’ 2019 first-rounder or the Sixers’ own 2019 first-rounder (each protected if No. 1) if the LA selection doesn’t convey.
“Well it’s never easy negotiating with Boston because they’re smart guys – and I’m talking about [Celtics assistant general manager] Mike Zarren and not Danny Ainge, by the way”, Colangelo said. “They have a lot of future assets and we’re gonna get a player that we like in addition to some further assets”. Odds are against, but Colorado guard Derrick White and Villanova forward Josh Hart (Sidwell Friends) could hear their names called among the top 30 picks. If not, the Celtics get a higher floor (getting the more favorable of two picks, rather than just one wherever it lands) and a lower ceiling (no No. 1 pick) with the 2019 selection.
Ainge said that the Celtics front office was “unanimously” confident in the trade.
“I think January gave everyone a taste of what success feels like”, Colangelo said. He added, “It was the best offer we had, by a significant margin, and we’re still able to get the player that we want in the draft, and acquire another asset”. If not, the Celtics have set themselves up even more nicely for a future that already includes the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder.
Celtics fans have been leery about moving back, particularly with all the buzz about likely No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz. Philly and Boston thought of it as a win-win situation, with both believing there’s “little difference” in the level of talent between the first and third picks.
2 through No. 5. They’re getting the player they want. “But we’re not afraid of that“.
It will mark the second straight year that Philadelphia selects first overall.
With Thomas, though, the Celtics didn’t necessarily need a point guard which is the piece Philadelphia apparently wanted most. In 2014, he was playing junior varsity basketball in high school in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
For the Sixers, they add the playmaking, franchise point guard they’ve been coveting during their rebuilding “process” to stand alongside Joel Embiid and the still-yet-to-debut Aussie phenom Ben Simmons.
After completing a trade for the No. 1 overall pick – which will be Markelle Fultz – the team now has a core of young players it hopes will be the bedrock of an eventual title contender. He was the top freshman scorer in the country. The Aussie missed all of last season with a foot injury. “And we’re getting an additional player that we want in next year’s draft or the year after”. “We felt it was very close in the top handful of players; we still feel that way”.