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Blakely: Celtics at the eye of the NBA's pre-draft storm

Blakely: Celtics at the eye of the NBA's pre-draft storm

Otherwise, the Celtics will have a choice of first-rounders in 2019 - either from Sacramento or Philadelphia, whichever pick is higher.

Next up will be the Los Angeles Lakers, expected to take UCLA guard Lonzo Ball.

In short, Philadelphia gets the guard it wanted in Fultz, and Boston gets a draft-pick haul in exchange for sliding down only two spots this year. In a guard-heavy draft and with Boston already loaded with backcourt talent like Isaiah Thomas, above right, the Celtics officially dealt the top pick in Thursday's draft to Philadelphia. Either way, the Celtics didn't lose much though they could still dangle that privilege for a potential trade deal. "It's a good deal for both teams".

And then come the Celtics, starting the real intrigue.

In light of Ainge only getting a single future first-rounder (with protections against No. 1) and no other assets, Jones feels the Celtics simply didn't get enough to make it worth passing on Fultz. "But we're not afraid of that".

Boston, meanwhile, could potentially own the draft rights to seven first-round selections over the next three seasons.

Despite a few stray rumblings of Ball or Fox being better, Fultz stayed atop almost every analysts' draft boards, and when the Boston Celtics won the NBA Draft Lottery on May 16, it looked like Fultz would be wearing green next year and playing alongside former UW star Isaiah Thomas in a loaded backcourt.




The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover is less optimistic about Fultz, a 19-year-old who averaged 23.2 points per game for a struggling Huskies team during his one college season.

"I think he's super talented", said Bird, who played against Fultz in a Pac-12 game this past season.

Fultz, barring something shocking, will join a core in Philadelphia that includes Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and 2017 Rookie of the Year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.

David Griffin's run with the Cleveland Cavaliers is over after one championship and three straight trips to the NBA Finals.

But one thing we know is true.

Kevin Durant is reportedly declining his player option for the 2017-18 season with the intention of re-signing with the Warriors. The general manager and team mutually parted ways on Monday when owner Dan Gilbert said Griffin's contract will not be extended once it expires June 30, AP reports.

With less than 36 hours until the NBA Draft, trade rumors are flying around faster than ever and teams are swapping assets with other teams to prepare themselves for the draft tomorrow night.


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