The Boston Celtics' decision to pass up on Markelle Fultz is seen as a win scenario for the team. The deal, set to be finalized Monday, will see Fultz ending up on the Philadelphia 76ers roster and in exchange the Green Team will get to pick No. 3. On the club's crosshair is either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum, reports said.
In addition to the Sixers' No. 3 pick, Boston basketball operations chief Danny Ainge was also able to secure future No. 1s, ESPN reported. Prior to the deal, Fultz worked out in Philadelphia, further firing up the rumors that he'll become No. 1 pick but not for the Celtics.
As a direct result of the blockbuster deal, Boston now enjoys No. 1 picks through 2019 and according to UPROXX "the Celtics are going to start wheeling and dealing," on these privileges. On the Sixers' part, they "were able to get Fultz and make sure they still have picks going forward, which was probably their best-case scenario," the report added.
The Boston-Sixers deal will also provide more rooms for Ainge's rebuilding project now underway. The team's eight first round picks over the next three years will serve as powerful bargaining chips. UPROXX is predicting Ainge is looking to score two superstars during the offseason but provided no names.
The spotlight for now is trained on Jackson that Boston hope to make No. 3 pick this year. However, things could get complicated for the Green Team if the Los Angeles Lakers decide to disrupt their plan. According to CBS Sports, Jackson becoming No. 3 will depend on who Magic Johnson will choose as the Lakers' No. 2 pick. Presumably, it will be Lonzo Ball.
But what if Magic goes for Jackson? The same report said it will be unlikely for the Celtics to pick Ball instead as doing so will mean bringing over a talent that will directly clash with that of Isaiah Thomas. CBS said Thomas and Ball on the Boston backcourt will make for weak tandem defensively.
In such an event, the viable alternative for Ainge is someone with similar caliber of a Josh Jackson. "That likely brings Jayson Tatum into play at the third spot," the report said.
And as mentioned, Boston is said to be eyeing the free agent market and one solid candidate is Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. With the way things are shaping up for the Celtics, the chance is high that Hayward will be convinced to become part of a team that is clearly on a mission to return to the winning column the soonest.
As for Fultz likely missing out on a chance to team up with Thomas, the Washington stalwart has indicated the talks and rumors on where he is going don't affect him. "I don't really pay attention to everything that's going on. I'm truly blessed to be in this position. Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to taking my talents to wherever I go," Fultz told ESPN.
Fultz would be joining a Philadelphia 76ers that is unlikely to match up soon with the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers but as ESPN puts it "would likely expect to turn a real corner toward respectability again," with big boost to be provided by top draft picks in the next few years.