But 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo declined to identify whom the 76ers would select.
The 76ers acquired the top overall pick from Boston in exchange for their No. 3 selection and a future first-round pick, according to statements released by both teams.
There is the outside chance the Celtics hold onto the third pick and select one of Washington's Markelle Fultz, UCLA's Lonzo Ball or Kansas' Josh Jackson. It's unclear which of those options Ainge might have been referring to. These two scenarios will ensure the Boston Celtics get to pick Markell Fultz. "So this was a great opportunity to acquire an impactful asset". Isaiah Thomas has become one of the top players in the league and Marcus Smart is considered one of the top bench players in the National Basketball Association. Fultz is projected to go to the Sixers with the first pick and Ball is projected to go to the Lakers - the only team he has worked out for - as the second pick.
"I think he's supertalented, superexplosive", said Cal guard Jabari Bird of Pac-12 rival Fultz following Monday's Sixers workout. " ... I think this is somebody they really wanted and stepped up to get".
The Celtics, on the other hand, have their eyes on getting more athletic at the wing forward positions. If not, the Celtics will instead receive either Sacramento's or Philadelphia's first round pick in 2019, whichever is more favorable.More news: 44 people detained during Istanbul's banned LGBT pride event
The future first-round pick that Boston will receive will be the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, provided that such pick is No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, or No. 5 in the 2018 NBA Draft.
It means that the 76ers will have Ben Simmons and this year's first overall pick on the court next year along with Joel Embiid, 2014's third overall pick too provided they all remain healthy.
"It was the best offer we had pretty significantly, by a significant margin", Ainge said of the trade.
The Philadelphia 76ers thrilled their fans and left some suspense surrounding Thursday's National Basketball Association draft. It has been years for the Sixers since they've been even remotely close to contention, but the wait might soon pay off as they appear poised to add Markelle Fultz to a team that has been loading up on high picks for a while.
"We are very, very excited about what we've been able to accomplish the last few days getting this trade done with Philadelphia", Ainge said.