Pac-12 flavor expected at top of the National Basketball Association draft tonight


On Thursday night, he became the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.

The Celtics and 76ers had agreed on the parameters of a deal on Saturday night after Philadelphia held a workout with point guard Markelle Fultz, who will become the fourth No. 1 overall pick in franchise history by the 76ers on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The deal the Celtics struck with the 76ers guarantees them an additional first-round pick, so they have some room to decide exactly what they want out of this year's draft. The Celtics will get the Lakers' 2018 first round pick, but only if it falls between the No. 2 and No. 5 picks. This is the second straight season the 76ers had the No. 1 pick.

Boston now owns the rights to as many as seven first-round picks over the next three years.

“This is certainly a trade that is under the microscope more than others, ” Ainge said.

A Fultz-to-Philadelphia selection would make he and Plum the first pair of top picks selected from the same school in the WNBA and NBA Drafts in the same academic year. Boston is likely to select either Kansas swingman Josh Jackson, UCLA guard Lonzo Ball or Duke forward Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 selection. "I have an opportunity to play basketball and that's all I ask for".

So much so that he cracked a joke at the expense of Celtics president Danny Ainge.

After finishing with the No. 1 seed in the East this season before getting ousted in the conference finals by Cleveland in a one-sided series, the Celtics have considered packaging some of their future picks for an established star that could help them close the gap on the Cavaliers and Golden State — the teams that have met in the last three NBA Finals.

"I wouldn't change anything", said Fultz, who sat out six of the final eight games due to knee soreness. They selected Ben Simmons a year ago, but he missed all of the 2016-17 season with a broken foot.

With Thomas, the Celtics didn't necessarily need a point guard - which is the piece Philadelphia apparently wanted most.

Fultz averaged 23.2 points last season at Washington, tops among freshmen, and added 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, the only Division I player to reach those stats. (8.5) and French League standout Frank Ntilikina (9.5) are among players listed among the Top 10, and I recommend taking the under on Monk, an elite scorer who could go as high as No. 6 to Orlando but shouldn't get past the Knicks at 8, which gets you a push.

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