BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics-76ers blockbuster trade involving the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday night’s draft is now official.
The Celtics have sent the top pick to Philly in exchange for the third overall selection and a future pick, the teams announced on Monday. The Celtics will receive the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick in 2018 if it lands between pick 2-5, or Philadelphia or Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2019, whichever is more favorable.
In an interesting, and previously unknown stipulation in the deal, if either of those 2019 picks result in the first overall selection then Boston will instead receive the other first-round pick. Despite that protection on his new future asset, Danny Ainge is pleased with his swap and said it was a unanimous decision in the Boston front office.
“We think there is a really good chance the player that we take at three is the same player we would have taken at one,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on a conference call after the trade was announced. “So this was a great opportunity to acquire an impactful asset.
“This is certainly a trade that is under the microscope more than others, but we’re not afraid of that,” added Ainge.
With the move, the Celtics and Ainge move down two spots in this year’s draft while also picking up another likely lottery pick in the near future. Ainge clearly wasn’t as impressed with Markelle Fultz as others around the league, and saw value in trading down while also picking up an additional asset for the future.
With the additional draft pick acquired in the deal, the Celtics now have seven selections over the next three years, including picks from Brooklyn (2018), Memphis (2019, protected 1-8), and the LA Clippers (2019, protected 1-14). If everything plays out in their favor and the ping-pong balls bounce their way for the second straight year, there’s a chance the Celtics could have the top two picks in next year’s draft.
We’ll see if Ainge ends up using the third overall pick come Thursday night, with Kansas forward Josh Jackson and Duke forward Jayson Tatum the likely draft targets at No. 3, or if he finds additional deals that he likes to help the Celtics in the present.