AFTER the dust has settled from the Boston and Philadelphia picks trade a few things stand out. One, Markelle Fultz is now going to become a 76er, fast forwarding ‘The Proscess’ immensely. Two, Danny Ainge continues to stockpile assets, able to swing for the fences in a trade scenario. And three, this trade changes the entire landscape of Thursday’s NBA draft.
IF you like what you read be sure to check out more SportsbyFry articles by hitting this link. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest NBA articles and follow our fan pages on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram to never miss a minute of the action!
OBVIOUSLY this trade impacts Markelle Fultz more than any other person involved in this trade. The consensus #1 pick was due to land in Boston, with the team then figuring out any potential backcourt issues with All-Star Isaiah Thomas as they go. However, Fultz will now be joining a youthful 76ers roster with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric. The potential of seeing those bigs running around with Fultz, who has been described as a 6’4 Tracy McGrady, is a wet dream for Philly fans.
Image from sbnation.com
COMING off his second straight All-Star calibre season, Thomas emerged as the franchises best player. However, Boston was still ready to take another guard with the No.1 pick and hope the two stars could co-exist. Trading back down to pick 3rd instead now, it’s likely that pick number three will be used on a forward in Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum. Not only will Isaiah Thomas likely remain the Celtics go-to guy, now he doesn’t have to be looking over his shoulder worried about Fultz taking his job and can help focus on making the Celtics contend for a title.
EVERY year the top NBA picks come into a team and usually take a large chunk of minutes away from someone at their position. It’s likely that when the 76ers draft Markelle Fultz, T.J. McConnell’s days as the starting point guard are over. The 2nd year pro started 51 games for Philadelphia last year and averaged 6.6 assists in 26 minutes a night, yet he will now likely serve as a key bench piece possibly running the second unit when Fultz is on the pine. With the ball dominant Fultz and Ben Simmons back in the fray and McConnell’s ability to play off the ball, it’s likely he won’t be reeling off too many more highlights.
JIMMY Butler has been linked to joining Boston via trade all year long. The likelihood that a trade can be orchestrated now has improved significantly, with the Celtics acquiring even more assets after this deal. Swapping Butler, a 3x All-Star with a package of picks and role players was likely to happen this season, but Boston was reluctant to part with the No. 1 pick for Butler. Using the No. 3 pick as bait might be a different story.
2018 NBA Draft
THE second pick that the Celtics gained from the deal with Philly will be used in the 1st round either next year or in 2019. The supposed deal will see Boston receive the 2018 Lakers 1st rounder if the pick falls between No. 2 and No. 5, but if it is either No. 1 or No. 6 through to No. 30 that 76ers keep it and Boston then receives the Kings 2019 1st rounder. That means that Boston could very well end up with picks No. 1 & No. 2 next year as they also obtain Brooklyn’s 2018 pick. Either way this trade massively impacts next years draft as Boston could have three 1st rounders, two of which are at the top end of the scale.
Kyle Lowry and Gordon Hayward
THIS free agency period poises as one that could potentially alter future success for a number of clubs. Gordon Hayward and Kyle Lowry have been long linked to the Celtics and 76ers, with their current contracts with the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors respectively finished. Lowry, a Philadelphia native and 3x All-Star guard, was presumably a great fit for the 76ers however, now that they are 99.99% likely to take Fultz 1st overall, the chances of him joining Philly are next to none. Gordon Hayward could very well still find his way to Boston, although if the Celtics choose to draft a young forward in Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum, it might not make too much sense adding Hayward on the wing as well.
Image from youtube.com
BOSTON were the only team from the Eastern Conference who stole a game from the Cavs in last years playoffs. So if this trade helps them facilitate a trade for Paul George or Jimmy Butler, while they are still able to maybe sign Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin this could be the end of LeBron’s rule over the entire East. Obviously there are plenty of factors that still play a part into a potential East Finals rematch of these two clubs, but with more star power at their disposal it’s not impossible to imagine the Celtics in the NBA Finals. Watch this space.
Banner from masslive.com