“Luka is a unique player. I don’t compare him to anyone. For me he plays in a magical way. I enjoy it, but not because he is my son or I am crazy. Luke is a bohemian, a basketball romantic. He has to improve his shot and I would love to see him shooting more from two” Sasa told AS. “NBA? He will play with Real Madrid this season. Luka is 18. It is going to he his decision. He is likely to go to the NBA very soon. But people from Madrid don’t need to be worried about that. They have a great basketball school full of young players and there will be soon the new Luka” Sasa added.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Doncic, who went for 27 points and nine rebounds against Latvia, is building confidence in scouts and momentum in the debate as the No. 1 overall draft pick for 2018. “Yes, 100 percent,” said the executive when asked if Doncic could go first. “His game is leap years above anyone. Continues to shine and impress.”
Goran Dragic praised Luka Doncic after the quarterfinal won against Latvia. “Luka? He is a star, but he is still a kid. As his roommate I can say that he still watches cartoons and Friends.
Keith Pompey: No surprise here. The #Sixers select @Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick. #NBAdraft2017
Marc J. Spears: The @Philadelphia 76ers have officially selected @Markelle Fultz with the first pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, source told @TheUndefeated.
Markelle says he’s “cool” with Lonzo Ball, and if there’s any lingering criticism of Markelle it is that he is indeed too cool — so laid back and emotionless he can come off robotic. “People think I’m not happy, but I’m always happy,” he says, pointing out he’s taken expressionless photos since his days with braces. “I’m saving my smile for a big day, and that day is coming up soon. All those people who say he’s not going to smile on draft day, that’s the day I’m going to have the biggest smile on my face.”
The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired the third overall selection of the 2017 NBA Draft and the favorably-protected rights to a future first round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
Michael Eaves: Received some surprising info on Markelle Fultz and the #Celtics today. Some within the organization were not impressed with his workout. The most glaring critique was that he was not as explosive as they expected/hoped. Afterwards, team felt as if he was NOT the best prospect.
According to a high-level front-office source, the reason the Sixers “only” paid a price of two first-round picks is because both teams see little separation between no. 1 and no. 3. It’s more about preference of player — Philly loves Markelle Fultz’s talent and his fit with its developing roster. The timing of the deal and the protections on the pick suggests both teams were negotiating on common grounds.
Mark Murphy: Source confirms that trade with Philly likely to be announced Monday. C’s get No. 3 and Boston-friendly protection on 2018 Lakers pick.
Mark Murphy: Re source, Celtics would have option to obtain 2019 Kings pick if 2018 Lakers pick is too low.
Harrison Faigen: Fultz himself retweeted it pic.twitter.com/RdYGiKxVvY
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics have agreed on a deal that will send the overall number one pick in next Thursday’s Draft to Philly in exchange for the third overall pick and at least one future first-round pick, per a league source. Barring some 11th-hour change of heart, the deal is set to be finalized on Monday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers needed Fultz workout/meeting to complete deal w/ Celtics and, as expected, sides have deal for No. 1 pick. Trade call planned Monday.
Adam Himmelsbach: According to league source, Celtics will receive the No. 3 overall pick this year & a protected future first-round pick from Philly, not two
Derek Bodner: Celtics will get Lakers pick if it falls between 2 and 5 in the 2018 draft, per league source. If not, the Celtics will get the Kings in ’19
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers had interest in pursuing a deal for No. 1 pick/Fultz, but Sixers ability to potentially deliver 3 FRP’s in deal too much to overcome.
Chris Forsberg: Ainge in 2015 on if there’s such thing as too many picks: “No, because picks are always tradable; players are not. Picks are always assets.”
Keith Pompey: Word out of Boston is that #Sixers and #Cetlics may come to an agreement but trade won’t be done until draft night.
According to league sources, the Celts have been very willing to discuss deals for the No. 1 choice. “If (the Celtics) can turn that into more than one player and still get a guy it wants (in this draft), I think they’d love to do that,” one NBA executive said.
Steve Bulpett: Personal feeling is that Celtics-Philly deal is close, but momentum could be lost if it drags out too long. Minds could change.
The Celtics and 76ers have been involved in substantive talks regarding a trade involving the first and third picks in next Thursday’s NBA draft, the Herald has confirmed. The story was first reported by ESPN and The Vertical. According to Herald sources, however, the move does not appear to be imminent, and it’s quite possible nothing will be decided until perhaps Monday.
Both clubs are looking into what else Philadelphia would need to offer to move up the two positions in the draft. Per the discussions that already have taken place, it’s a given that the 76ers will have to include at least one other future first-round pick.
Adam Himmelsbach: Source told me yesterday Cs have had countless trade talks in June. Sometimes the ones that are leaked seem more imminent, but might not be.
Michael Pina: A source told me rumored Celtics/Sixers deal involving No. 1 pick isn’t far along. No specific pieces set in place just yet.
Steve Kyler: So hearing the three this year, a future 76ers first and Lakers 2018 on the table to Celtics for the number one… thats a ton of value
Tom Moore: Interesting thing is I had a league source tell me recently that ‘Bryan doesn’t like dealing with’ Ainge.
Adam Himmelsbach: Sources indicating 76ers/Cs trade possibility is definitely real. Source close to Fultz says they’re “Not hearing too much. Just waiting.”
In the proposed deal, Boston would acquire the 76ers’ No. 3 overall pick in 2017 in a package that includes a future first from the 76ers, sources said. Philadelphia’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick that was acquired from the Lakers has been part of the discussions, sources said.
A day after Markelle Fultz talked up his fit next to D’Angelo Russell following his first workout for the Los Angeles Lakers, there are reports that president of basketball operations Magic Johnson wants to make such a pairing a reality. According to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, Johnson “‘is in love’ with Fultz” and might attempt to trade for the Boston Celtics No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft in order to select him. Givony reports that Johnson might try to do this with an offer of Julius Randle and the Lakers’ own No. 2 pick.
The Boston Celtics are engaged in talks with the Philadelphia 76ers on a trade for the No. 1 pick in next week’s NBA draft, sources said Friday. League sources told ESPN on Friday that the Sixers and Celtics are working on a trade that, in its current iteration, would send a package of Sixers draft picks to Boston — including Philadelphia’s No. 3 overall selection in Thursday’s draft — in exchange for Boston’s turn at No. 1.
Sam Amick: Sense from involved parties in Boston-Philly talks is Cs are all in. Checking physicals, poised to give No. 1 for package centered on No. 3
While it is widely assumed in league circles that the Sixers would target Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick, sources say Philadelphia and Boston are likewise high on Kansas forward Josh Jackson.
Steve Kyler: I think Fultz is best guy, but Celtics have to build their team. Most NBA talent folks don’t see a huge gap between Fultz/Ball/Jackson/Fox
Bobby Marks: Boston would create $1.4m in cap space in 17-18 for swapping #1 for #3. #1 pick= $7.0m #3 pick= $5.6m
Bobby Marks: Celtics could get to $29.5m ($800k below max) in room this July. Would only have 7 guaranteed contracts plus #3 pick on the roster.
Marc Stein: League sources tell @Zach Lowe and me that the Sixers and Celtics are in serious talks on a trade involving the No. 1 overall pick.
Zach Lowe: In current parameters, BOS would receive several picks and no players, sources say. Have to think No. 3 would be involved.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Philadelphia is waiting on medical information on Markelle Fultz, but deep into talks on acquiring Boston’s No. 1 overall pick.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Deal talks are far enough along that Fultz could be on his way to Philadelphia for a meeting Saturday, sources say.
Fultz called the workout at the Lakers’ practice facility a “family decision,” adding “Never know where I might land, so I just wanted to see how it is out here.” As for his preference on where he’d like to be drafted, Fultz said, “I would like to go one [to the Celtics], but wherever I land is where I go.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Josh Jackson from Kansas has really moved himself into consideration a little bit in No. 1. He did cancel a workout with Boston. He is not going there yet. That could change, there’s still time. But the Lakers have are really looking hard at Josh Jackson.
Josh Jackson has yet to workout for the Boston Celtics, but the possibility of him going to them at No. 1 has gained momentum. Markelle Fultz has widely been considered the probable first overall pick for several months.
“I’ve picked Danny’s brain for years,” one GM said. “Jackson is an Ainge player all the way. Tough, athletic, long, versatile, elite motor. If he’s keeping the pick, Jackson just to me, far and away, is the most Celtics-type player for them to draft. From all my conversations with them, I’m convinced they’ll take Jackson No. 1.”
“We like him a lot,” the Celtics source said about Jackson. “But we like several guys a lot. We’ve got a week to figure it out.”
Q: On if he could see himself being a Laker: Fultz: For sure. I could see myself playing here. It’s a great city, a great team. A lot history behind this team. Q: On playing alongside a young core: Fultz: I thought about both. Being a young team, would pretty much feel like college again. But either/or. Coming to a young team or an old team, I’m just blessed to play the game.
Adam Zagoria: Projected No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz is expected to meet this week with the Lakers, per source. Has met with Celtics
Though the point guard finished his career at Washington with sterling numbers that included a 23.2 scoring average, the Huskies won just nine games. As such Fultz’ leadership potential has been debated. And that would be wrong, Ainge said. “I don’t know why we do that,” he said of tying a young prospect’s upside to winning. “Impacting winning takes more than one player. If you’re talking about 25-year-olds, or 22-year-olds coming out of college, then maybe there would be more emphasis put on that.”
“The difference between Jaylen and Markelle is that Markelle still put up great numbers,” said Ainge, turning to another sport for an analogy. “I liken it to Markelle being a quarterback on a bad football team, but still throwing for 400 yards a game,” Ainge said. “And Jaylen would have been the great wide receiver on a team that spent all of its time running the ball.”
Fultz will face more in the way of the physical and emotional challenges of the NBA. “Markelle is about a year younger than Jaylen was,” Ainge said. “He’s not as strong. He does have a good body, but it needs work.”
While Markelle Fultz has been the top player on Boston’s draft board for a while, the Washington point guard isn’t the only player the Celtics are considering with the No. 1 overall pick, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford. Sources told Ford, who still has the C’s taking Fultz in his latest mock draft, that Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum also are in the mix.
Chris Forsberg: Did the Celtics tell Markelle Fultz he’d go No. 1? “No, no, no, they didn’t say that. They didn’t put that out there. I gotta earn everything. Just talking to them, we didn’t really talk about me getting drafted or anything like that, but more about me being a better young man, no matter where I go. Just what’s going to make me the best player I can possibly be.”
Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, the potential No. 1 pick of the NBA draft, said Tuesday that he has had multiple conversations with Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge since the draft combine earlier this month and that he is hopeful he will be selected first overall on June 22. “I’ve talked to Danny a few times, and they want to get me to come out there for a visit,” Fultz told ESPN. “They just want to get a chance to know me better as a person.”
“I want to be the No. 1 pick really bad,” Fultz added. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, and I feel like I would fit well in Boston.” Fultz said he has yet to firm up a day when he will visit the Celtics, who acquired the rights to the No. 1 pick through a 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets. He will likely work out for management and coaches. He did meet with Boston and a few other teams earlier this month while in Chicago before the draft combine.
Potential No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz told ESPN he has had multiple conversations with Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge since the draft combine earlier this month and is hopeful of being selected first in the June 22 NBA draft. “I’ve talked to Danny a few times, and they want to get me to come out there for a visit,” Fultz told ESPN on Tuesday. “They just want to get a chance to know me better as a person.”
“I want to be the No. 1 pick really bad,” Fultz added. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, and I feel like I would fit well in Boston.” Fultz said he has yet to firm up a day when he will visit the Celtics, and likely work out for management and coaches. He did meet with Boston and a few other teams earlier this month while in Chicago before the draft combine.
Or as another NBA player put it, “People don’t realize it because they didn’t get to watch him as much this year. I don’t want to say he’s a Russ-level athlete, but he’s closer to that than not. If he went to the combine, which I’m not sure he’d ever have a reason to, but if he went, he’d test off the charts. He’s just a f—ing freak.” And as one scout says, “It’s funny to me that so many people have tried to put the ‘not a winner’ stigma on him without ever getting to know him. If he were a BS kid, maybe you could blame Washington’s struggles on him. But he’s the furthest thing from that.” Those last two answers are why he’s the likely No. 1 pick.
Fultz is open to anything. “If they need me to play the one,” he says. “I can do that. Get somebody involved, get the other people open. But also, if they need me at the two, I can just score the ball. Or if you need me to do both, score at times… I can do anything you need.”
We asked Boogie for his top NBA draft prospects, and he went with De’Aaron Fox & Malik Monk … two 1st round locks from his alma mater, Kentucky, the team that ousted UCLA in the tourney. But it was when our camera guy asked about Ball — the most talked about player in the draft — that the shot came … and it was a clear one.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Sportsnation, UCLA guard Lonzo Ball was asked by host Michelle Beadle if he would rather get drafted by the Lakers, or go first overall, and his answer is sure to excite plenty of people in Los Angeles. “I’m going to go with the Lakers,” Ball said. “All my family is in L.A., so to be able to play in front of them, I think that would mean more to me.”
If the Lakers do keep their pick though, Ball explained why he thinks they should take him over similarly heralded Washington guard Markelle Fultz. “I think I can lead a team better than him,” Ball said. “I feel like I’m more of a true point guard, I like to get my teammates involved. Obviously he can too, but I feel like I can do it better.”
UCLA star freshman Lonzo Ball, the possible No. 1 overall pick, has filed paperwork to enter the 2017 NBA draft and hired representation, league sources told The Vertical.
Ball has signed with Harrison Gaines, league sources said. Gaines is based in California and counts Ball as his first NBA client. Ball’s father, LaVar, has become the family’s public voice and has pushed the family’s Big Baller Brand athletic apparel company. The family has also launched Ball Sports Group, sources said. In hiring Gaines, however, Lonzo Ball will have standard player representation. Gaines will be responsible for Ball’s future NBA contracts and team negotiations as a member of the Ball Sports Group, sources said.
Markelle Fultz: ‘No doubt’ I’m the No.1 pick.
One long-time NBA GM to me just now: “There are 3, maybe 4, No. 1 picks in this draft — Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson for sure. Maybe Jayson Tatum too. All of those guys have star potential. ” Jackson certainly made his case today with an elite performance against Michigan State. He’s the best two-way player in the draft.
The Bruins kicked off their NCAA run Friday night with a convincing 97-80 win over Kent State, and Lonzo, to his credit, hasn’t let the surrounding noise get to him. But Ball’s father seems to have already turned his attention to the NBA. “Why shouldn’t they (pick Lonzo first)? … If you’ve got a kid who makes everybody better, you mean to tell me you wouldn’t take him over a guy that’s just averaging 40 points and does all this stuff and losing? The key to the game is winning. If you want a winner, you pick my boy,” LaVar told TMZ.
Fultz, whose Washington Huskies didn’t make the tournament, averaged just over 23 points and nearly six rebounds and assists this season. The Huskies were just 9-22 on the season, and Fultz has already announced his intention to go pro. Despite Fultz’s gaudy numbers, Ball’s father, unsurprisingly, continued stumping for his son. “Look what he did to UCLA. They 15-17 last year. You bring one dude and change the culture, that’s what you want,” he said. “He’s going to go to the Lakers. Watch. The Lakers gonna get that ball, and then they gonna get that Ball.”
Luka Doncic on jumping to the NBA: “I don’t know what to do. I’m very happy here [at Real Madrid] (…) I still haven’t thought about what I’m going to do in two years.”
Some are projecting you to go No. 1 in next year’s draft… Would you leave for the NBA in case you’re selected at that spot? Luka Doncic: I don’t know. I like to see that, of course, but I insist I don’t want to think about anything NBA-related right now. I’m very focused on accomplishing things with Real Madrid and being the best player I can be and when the time comes to think about the NBA then I will have time to decide. I think Real Madrid is the best place to be right now and I’m very happy here.
Calipari is still imploring Monk to drive to the basket, because frankly, he can get there almost whenever he wants. He has a rare combination of skill and athleticism where he can drill 3s and also get what he wants when he drives to the hoop. But NBA executives are torn on Monk. Some believe he’s a lock to go in the upper half of the NBA lottery. One even recently told me he’d select Monk with the No. 1 overall pick. But others are concerned that he’s a 6-foot-3 2-guard, and they feel as though he’ll go in the bottom portion of the lottery due to his lack of size.
His name is Josh Jackson, and he possesses both a standout game that could make him the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft and trash-talking skills that already compete with the likes of all-star yappers Payton and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. “He blocked Gary Payton’s son’s shot and then Josh looked at him. That’s what set Gary off. That’s just Josh. Dude is having fun,” said Hillcrest Hoops Prep Academy rising senior center DeAndre Ayton, who plays with Payton’s son, Julian.
You can also trust the NBA has a strong interest in Jackson. The feeling appears mutual as Jackson acknowledged a jump to the NBA is likely after a year at Kansas. “I definitely can see myself being a one-and-done. If at the end of my freshman year if I feel like I’m ready to enter the draft, then I will do it,” he said.
Serena Winters: The Philadelphia 76ers select Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA draft. #DraftDay
Marc J. Spears: The Sixers’ draft card is in with the selection LSU forward Ben Simmons for the top pick in this year’s NBA Draft, a source said.
The Sixers gave up any pretense that there was an ongoing internal debate about whom they should take No. 1 when they brought in Ben Simmons for a workout Tuesday — based on a promise that they would select him at No. 1. It turns out, he was really their guy all along. “We decided on lottery night,” one Sixers official told me.
“The NBA is becoming more and more positionless,” a Sixers source said. “We’re going to try to take advantage of that with Ben. He can play everywhere, but he’s special when the ball is in his hands. We want him to be special.”
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Darren Wolfson: Many Wade Baldwin questions in my timeline. No #Twolves interest shown so far. Hear #Rockets, #NYKnicks, + Pelicans among those w/ interest.
Maybe you’ll play against little Bronny when he gets to the league? “I don’t know if I could play washed, but I damn sure would love to stick around if my oldest son can have an opportunity to play against me. That’d be, that’d be the icing on the cake right there.”
When it comes to on-court greatness, LeBron beats MJ—and every other athlete—for these factors and more, and because he has the legitimate potential to play the game of basketball at the highest level longer than anyone else. Or, as he put it when I asked how he thought he could become greater than MJ in most people’s eyes: “If I was the most consistent and was at the top of the food chain more than anybody in NBA history.” He’s been to seven straight NBA Finals and could seemingly play at that level for another 10 seasons—25 total. That’s astonishing. And no one has been “the greatest” for decades.
It’s also thrust Lowry and DeRozan into leadership roles that are in in their best interests to embrace with the two veterans almost taking a good cop/bad cop approach. Guess who is the taskmaster? “I am a pretty tough guy. I am a prick when it comes to some stuff,” says Lowry of his leadership style. “But honestly I do have [his younger teammates] best interests at heart, because I do want them to be successful. I want them to provide for their families, I want all them guys to be all-stars, to be able to witness some of the things I’ve witnessed in this league.”
The other scar? “During the Finals I fell into a camera, against Golden State. The first time we played them.” Did you have any stitches then? “No, I actually—this was just glue. It was going to be staples, but I told them, ‘Don’t fucking staple my head.’ And they put in the glue, and it didn’t heal right. We kept this one under wraps, though.” Why? “Because we don’t talk about injuries. I don’t talk about injuries.”
The Warriors wanted respect in 2015. They wanted to show the world they weren’t lucky in 2016. They wanted to hush those 3-1 blown-lead joke tellers in 2017. But what will they rely on in 2017-18, when there is nothing left to prove? “I think it’s a misnomer that you need a reason to go out and win, or you need a reason to go out and compete,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told The Vertical. “Some people say, ‘What is your motivation?’ Sometimes, it’s just as simple as, ‘I don’t like to lose.’ That could last your whole life. You could have 20 championships and it cannot be enough. People ask the question, ‘How do you come back after winning?’ Well, the same way you went in when you did win. Because you care about your craft, you’re a professional. Losing hurts and you try to do anything you can to avoid that.”