Saturday’s blockbuster deal that will allow the Sixers to draft Markelle Fultz validates “the process” that former GM Sam Hinkie brought to Philadelphia, writes Tim Cato of SB Nation. The Sixers were able to get the No. 1 pick from Boston in exchange for their own selection at No. 3 and the Lakers’ first-rounder next year, which will be conveyed only if it falls between No. 2 and No. 5, or the Kings’ first-rounder the following year. Hinkie’s philosophy of getting high draft picks and collecting assets gave Philadelphia the ammunition to make the deal, Cato notes. The Sixers now have a promising core of Fultz, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to build their future around.
There’s a lot more this morning as writers weigh in on the trade:
- The Sixers held a private workout with Fultz Saturday night before agreeing to the deal, and the Celtics weren’t notified that the trade was done before the news became public, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. He notes that the Celtics’ already crowded backcourt factored into their decision to pass on Fultz (Twitter link). Potential Boston draftees Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball both turned down workouts with the team, so the Celtics haven’t seen either player in person (Twitter link). They watched Jayson Tatum during a session in Los Angeles.
- The trade happened five days before the draft because the Sixers and Celtics are both hoping to make other deals, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
- Fultz, who grew up in Maryland, told Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer that he likes the idea of playing relatively close to home and being with a rising team like the Sixers. Sources told Pompey that Fultz was disappointed when Philadelphia failed to land the top pick at the lottery. “They have a young team, and I think the upside of it would be crazy,” Fultz said. “I’m close to home. So a lot of my family can come out and just show love, and this city has great fans.”
- The Celtics could have seven first-rounders over the next three drafts, tweets ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg, who details the picks.
- On his website, Derek Bodner examines how the Sixers acquired the assets they used to land Fultz.