The assumption has been that the Boston Celtics would take Washington point guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick in next week’s NBA draft, but a report on Friday suggests the Philadelphia 76ers are attempting to acquire that pick.
The Celtics are having serious discussions with the 76ers about a trade for that would give Philadelphia the top pick, ESPN reported Friday.
The most recent offer on the table would have the Sixers sending Boston several draft picks, including the No. 3 overall selection, in exchange for the top pick, which presumably would be Fultz. The most likely scenario is for Boston to receive three draft picks to give up one.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported the Sixers might send the Celtics the No. 3 pick this year as a well as two future first-round picks to acquire the top pick this year.
If the 76ers could pull off the deal, they could put Fultz in the backcourt with last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Ben Simmons, who has yet to play an NBA game but could play the shooting guard spot.
Philadelphia could have a core group of Fultz, Simmons, and Joel Embiid, which could be a prominent trio for years.
ESPN reported that the Sixers and Celtics are both high on Kansas forward Josh Jackson. The Celtics could probably land Jackson with the No. 3 pick, assuming the Lakers take Lonzo Ball with the second selection.
It would allow Boston to avoid the headache of finding playing time for two standout point guards — Fultz and Isaiah Thomas, who becomes a free agent after next season.
ESPN’s Chad Ford reported Thursday the Celtics were considering taking Jackson with the first pick.
The last time the Celtics traded the No. 1 overall pick was 1980, when they traded it to the Golden State Warriors. The Celtics got Robert Parish from the Warriors, along with the No. 3 overall pick, which they used to take Kevin McHale. With the top pick, the Warriors selected Joe Barry Carroll.