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Celtics, 76ers finalize blockbuster deal to swap top picks

The Philadelphia 76ers’ blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics became official Monday afternoon, according to Philly.com and several other news outlets.Philadelphia will pair Fultz, a high-scoring point guard out of the University of Washington, with Ben Simmons, last year’s No. 1 overall pick who missed the entire season with a foot injury.The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to terms with the Boston Celtics, sending their number three pick in the draft – along with a 2018 protected first round pick – gaining the Celtics number one pick in 2017 NBA Draft where they will draft Washington’s Markelle Fultz.The first part of the trade is straightforward: The Celtics swapped the first pick in this year’s draft for the third pick in this year’s draft.”History suggests that No 1 has the greatest odds of producing franchise-level talent”. Fultz believes he’s the No. 1 overall pick.Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Huskies, who stumbled to a 9-22 record.Even with the trade, Philadelphia still will have a combined three first-round picks in the 2018 and 2019 drafts.Barring any other changes before Thursday, the first four spots in this year’s draft order would mirror the first-four from last year: Philadelphia at No. 1, the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2, Boston at No. 3 and Phoenix at No. 4.Sixers big man Joel Embiid tweeted a photo of himself with Fultz, Simmons and Robert Covington along with the caption: “This should be legendary if it happens”. That being said, it is a major red flag that the Celtics have not shown interest in those players, and it appears as though the names we should be paying attention to are Dennis Smith Jr. and Jayson Tatum, who have both worked out for the Celtics. Its a good deal for both teams.”.Now the Celtics are hoping the Lakers get No. 2 overall again next year, in what is expected to be an extremely strong top of the draft.Los Angeles now holds the second and 28th picks in this year’s draft.If the Lakers pick does not fall in that range in 2018, the Celtics will choose between the Kings’ first-round pick in 2019 (which now belongs to the 76ers) or the 76ers’ own first-round pick in 2019. We came to a conclusion that it was the right situation and the right point in the deal progression that we would make a deal, and we did.Given that the Sixers and Kings have decent young players, both franchises hope to not be at the bottom of the National Basketball Association by 2018-19. It has been rumored that Ainge is really interested in drafting Josh Jackson from Kansas University, but he still could also trade the pick for an established star for a team that needs rebuilding. There are probably at least five different players that Ainge could realistically select, and you cannot ignore how they are picking and choosing which players to work out.