During the last off-season, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge made a deal that, at the time, seemed questionable. He traded the Celtics first overall draft pick – which would have almost certainly been Washington’s guard Markelle Fultz – for the 76ers’ number 3 overall pick and another pick. Now this is where it gets interesting.
The additional draft pick included in that trade will be the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2018 pick, if it falls between the 2nd and 5th picks. If not, the Celtics will receive the Sacramento Kings’ 2019 first-round pick unprotected.
Many didn’t see this as an amazing trade until all of the pieces started fitting in perfectly. And that’s just what usually happens with Danny Ainge. Markelle Fultz was injured early in the season,putting his future jump-shooting abilities in jeopardy. Then the Celtics’ 3rd overall pick, Jayson Tatum, started to show that he could be a dominant scorer in the league. And to top it all off, the Lakers – the team that was supposed to have a turnaround year with the addition of UCLA guard Lonzo Ball – now owns the second worst record in the NBA. They currently are a game and a half higher than the 11-30 Atlanta Hawks.
The trade for the number one pick last off-season currently has the high potential of ultimately being Markelle Fultz (PHI) for Jayson Tatum and one of the top prospects such as Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, Duke’s Marvin Bagley, or Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic. And to heap further praise on Ainge, the Brooklyn Nets pick that was included in the trade with Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving is now projected to be the 9th overall pick in the draft.