Reports: Celtics, Sixers in talks for No. 1 pick, Philly targeting Markelle Fultz
According to a storm of reports that trickled out late Friday afternoon, the Philadelphia 76ers are are involved in trade talks with the Boston Celtics involving the No. 1 pick in the draft.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein. Expanding on that, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Sixers are “deep into talks” with the Celtics and were awaiting medical information on Markelle Fultz.
A potential deal would involve the Sixers sending the third pick in the draft and an undisclosed future first-round pick. Fultz worked out for the Sixers on Saturday instead of a previously scheduled meeting with the Celtics. Philadelphia holds a host of future draft assets, including the Lakers’ 2018 first-round selection and the Kings’ 2019 first-rounder. The Sixers also hold their own first-rounders in those drafts.
Although the volume of reports appear that the prospective deal framework is solid, it remains unclear when it will take place: it could happen as soon as Monday, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, backtracking on an earlier report that nothing was likely to happen until the night of the draft.
Adding to the speculation is a report from the Boston Globe that the Celtics are now trying to bring Fultz in a second time after he rescheduled to visit Philadelphia on Saturday.
The L.A. Lakers are sandwiched between the two teams at No. 2, and it remains unclear as to what Philly will do. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress reported Friday the Lakers are “in love” with Fultz, who has long been the presumptive No. 1 pick, following a strong workout on Thursday. There have been indications that L.A. is considering both UCLA guard Lonzo Ball and Kansas forward Josh Jackson. ESPN’s Chad Ford reported Thursday that Boston was not set on taking Fultz, and was considering taking Jackson first overall.
Given that information, moving down could enable the Celtics to take Jackson at a point of value while acquiring additional assets, assuming the Lakers go in a different direction.
Among the players in consideration atop Thursday’s draft are Fultz, Ball, Jackson, De’Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum.