BOSTON (CBS) — Over the weekend, the Celtics dealt the No. 1 overall pick in this week’s NBA Draft to Philadelphia. It just about assured that Markelle Fultz will not wear Celtics green.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand welcomed The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach on Monday to explain what he thinks of the trade.
“It’s kind of a boring answer, but it’s too early to say,” said Himmelsbach. “There’s not a player involved besides Markelle Fultz, and the result of the second pick [the Celtics] are going to get is completely unknown at this point. Right now, there’s just a ton of fan angst over the one certainty in this, which is Markelle Fultz not becoming a Celtic.”
That’s right, all those hours spent watching highlights of Fultz now mean nothing to Celtics fans. That should garner some irritation, but not necessarily panic. Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge clearly felt that Fultz was not necessarily bad, but just not as good as some portrayed him.
“I don’t think [the Celtics] soured on Fultz,” said Himmelsbach. “I think it was more that they didn’t view him as this once-every-five-year prospect as some other people view him.”
In return, the Celtics received the Sixers’ No. 3 pick and the Lakers’ first-round pick next year. If the Lakers pick doesn’t land 2-5, the Celtics will receive the Sacramento Kings’ first-round pick in 2019 instead.
The Celtics now have a few days to decide what they want to do with the No. 3 pick.
“I’ve been told there’s four guys [the Celtics] generally like in this draft,” said Himmelsbach. “If two of them are available and there’s a chance to swap out again and move down again, maybe they take it. But my gut is that they’ll end up making the pick.”
Among Kansas’ Josh Jackson and others, Duke forward Jayson Tatum has been one of the names linked to the Celtics with the third pick. He reportedly worked out for the team on Monday.
“He doesn’t have superstar potential, but he looks like a guy that can be a really good NBA player,” said Himmelsbach on Tatum. “He’s a good iso-scorer.”
The Celtics can also deal the pick, and future picks for a coveted player such as Anthony Davis or Jimmy Butler, who may still be drawing interest from Danny Ainge in a potential trade for No. 3.
“I think they’re always interested in a guy like Jimmy Butler, but I think what’s a little different now, is you’re reevaluating things a little bit because of the Warriors,” Himmelsbach said. “They’ve kind of changed the landscape. The Celtics adding Jimmy Butler to this team will not be a championship team right now. Then down the road, Jimmy Butler is 31, you didn’t win a title, and a lot of those picks have gone.”
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