The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers may have a preliminary agreement to trade picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, but fans could have to wait.
While the deal may not be as close as many believed when it was first reported Friday, it still seems likely. Fultz was originally scheduled to meet with Boston on Friday. His trip was promptly re-routed when the rumor became public.
Keith Pompey, who covers the Sixers, says the two sides could have a tentative deal. But he does not expect anything official until draft night.
One reason for this is Boston may be worried the Lakers could select Josh Jackson at No. 2 overall. This means Boston would pick Fultz at No. 1 then wait until Los Angeles makes their selection.
If Jackson is still available, they would trade Fultz to Philadelphia. But if the Lakers select Jackson, Boston would nix the deal.
Jackson has worked out for the Lakers, though some reports indicate he may have struggled to impress the team. However, one rival GM is convinced the Celtics have Jackson on top of their board (via ESPN):
I’ve picked Danny’s brain for years. 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.
It’s unclear why Jackson, who has not yet met with the Celtics, canceled his workout with the team last week. Much like Fultz in Philadelphia, Boston would want to meet with Jackson before they traded for him.
Another reason the trade could take longer than expected is if the Celtics try to make it a three-way deal in hopes to land Jimmy Butler from Chicago. If so, it would take extra time to get another front office involved.
The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
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