Mon, Jun 19, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Celtics and 76ers agree on trade for No. 1 draft pick

AP

Markelle Fultz speaks with reporters after his private workout with the Los Angeles Lakers at the team’s training complex on in El Segundo, California on Thursday last week.

Photo: AP

The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics have agreed in principle on a trade where the 76ers would acquire the chance to take Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, a person with knowledge of the deal said.

The Celtics are to get the No. 3 pick, plus an additional first-rounder either next year or in 2019, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity on Saturday night because the trade has not been formally approved by the league.

The agreement between the Celtics and 76ers was struck not long after Fultz worked out for the 76ers.

Once the trade goes through, the 76ers would own the NBA’s No. 1 selection for the second-straight season.

Fultz — donning a 76ers cap as he arrived at the team’s practice facility — visited the team in a hastily arranged get-to-know-you session, with the workout and meeting with team officials on his itinerary. That visit was essentially the final hurdle to clear before Celtic and the 76ers could decide to actually consummate the trade.

“I don’t really pay attention to everything that’s going on,” Fultz said. “I’m truly blessed to be in this position. Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to taking my talents to wherever I go.”

Barring any other changes before Thursday, the first four spots in this year’s draft order would mirror the first-four from last year: The 76ers at No. 1, the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2, Celtic at No. 3 and the Phoenix Suns at No. 4.

Fultz’s rise to stardom has been rapid. In 2014, he was playing junior varsity basketball in high school. Barely three years later, he is almost certainly going to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft — and if he gets to start his pro career by calling Philadelphia his new home, he will be living near his hometown of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

“It would be pretty cool. Just being with a young team,” Fultz said. “The upside of it would be crazy. I’m close to home, so a lot of my family can come out and just show love. This city has great fans.”

The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 25 games during his lone college season at Washington, excelling on a team that finished 9-22 and lost its final 13 games. Fultz led the Pac-12 in scoring and finished No. 6 among all Division 1 players, and was the top freshman scorer in the US.

In the past 10 seasons, only two other freshmen had a better scoring average in college: Kevin Durant for Texas in 2006 to 2007, and Michael Beasley for Kansas State in 2007 to 2008.

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