Sixers acquire #1 overall pick from Celtics, will select Markelle Fultz

Updated: Sunday, June 18, 2017 12:59 AM

The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics have agreed to a trade which will send the #1 overall pick to the Sixers, multiple league sources have confirmed.

The 76ers will use the #1 pick to select Washington guard Markelle Fultz, who averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game during his lone season with the Hustkies. The Sixers brought Fultz to their training facility in Camden, New Jersey late Saturday night to meet with him before signing off on the deal. The trade is expected to be finalized on Monday.

In order to move up the Sixers will send a future first round pick to the Celtics, either the 2018 Lakers pick or the 2019 Kings pick, along with the #3 overall pick this year. If the Lakers pick falls between #2 and #5 after next year’s lottery, the Celtics will get the 2018 Lakers pick, according to multiple sources. If not, the Celtics will instead receive the 2019 Kings pick.

The protections on the Lakers pick are intended to protect both sides. For the Sixers, they know that they will not give up the #1 pick in the 2018 draft. For the Celtics, if the Lakers pick drops too far down in the draft they can instead receive a 2019 pick from the Kings.

There was speculation that the Sixers would have to give up two picks in addition to the #3 pick this year in order to move up to get Fultz, but that is not the case. The 76ers will retain either the Lakers 2018 pick or the Kings 2019 pick, depending on how the lottery plays out next year, leaving Bryan Colangelo and his team with another high value asset to round out a roster that already includes Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, and Dario Saric.

The 76ers acquired the Lakers pick in a three-team trade with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns back in February 2015. The Sixers shipped away reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, getting the Lakers pick in return. The Lakers pick was then top-5 protected in the 2015 NBA draft, then top-3 protected for both 2016 and 2017. The Lakers were awarded the 2nd overall pick in the lottery for three consecutive years (2015, 2016, 2017), so the pick became fully unprotected for the 2018 draft.

The 76ers acquired a number of assets in a trade with the Sacramento Kings in July 2015 that helped make this trade possible. The 76ers traded Arturas Gudaitis (47th pick in 2015) and Luka Mitrovic (60th pick) for Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, the right to swap first round picks with the Kings in both 2016 and 2017, and what eventually became an unprotected 2019 pick from Sacramento. The Kings primarily made the trade to clear cap space for free agency that summer.

The Sixers finished with a better pick than the Kings in the 2016 draft, but the Kings jumped to 3rd in the lottery this year, giving the Sixers the right to swap their 5th pick for the Kings’ 3rd pick.

These moves made by former general manager Sam Hinkie gave Bryan Colangelo the assets necessary to make a more compelling offer than the Lakers, who were also reportedly looking to move up from #2 to acquire Fultz.

The Sixers will also have the 36th, 39th, 46th, and 50th pick in next Thursday’s draft.


Derek Bodner

Derek Bodner is a credentialed reporter covering the Philadelphia 76ers independently for He is also a college basketball scout for, and an NBA contributor for The Ringer. Contact Information: / @DerekBodnerNBA

More Posts