Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers confirm draft day trade
Australia's Ben Simmons is almost certain to team up with top point guard prospect Markelle Fultz in Philadelphia next season after the 76ers and Boston Celtics confirmed their NBA draft deal.
The trade was made official on Monday, a deal that will see the teams swap the 76ers acquire the No.1 pick from Boston in exchange for their No.3 selection at Thursday night's draft and a future first-round pick.
The Celtics and 76ers had agreed on the parameters of a deal on Saturday night after Philadelphia held a workout with Fultz, who will become the fourth No.1 overall pick in franchise history by the 76ers at the draft to be held in Brooklyn.
"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," Philadelphia president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said.
"History suggests that No.1 has the greatest odds of producing franchise-level talent. Thursday night will see us take another significant step toward building a successful and sustainable basketball program."
Philadelphia will pair Fultz, a high-scoring point guard out of the University of Washington, with Simmons, last year's No.1 overall pick who missed the entire season with a foot injury.
In his only season with Washington, the 6-foot-5, 84kg Fultz averaged 23.2 points and 5.9 assists.
The 19-year-old Fultz will join a line-up of young talent including 20-year-old Simmons, centres Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor, the No.3 picks in 2014 and 2015 respectively, plus Croatian forward Dario Saric.
Boston, with leading scorer Isaiah Thomas already manning the point guard position, were equally thrilled to drop down two spots and receive what they expect to be a high first-round pick in either 2018 or 2019.
Boston will receive the 2018 first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers - if that selection falls between the No.2 to No.5 range.
The Celtics have been linked with either Josh Jackson of Kansas or Jayson Tatum of Duke at No.3, although multiple media outlets reported the team may be willing to deal the pick.
Lonzo Ball of UCLA is expected to go No.2 to the Lakers, although the sides have yet to reach agreement on a deal. Ball hosted a second workout for the Lakers on Friday.