NBA Draft Rumors: Philadelphia 76ers to Pick Lonzo Ball, Boston Celtics Still Gets Markelle Fultz

By Jeff Harris, Posted: 06/20/17 04:13AM EDT

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers made it official - the Sixers get to pick the No. 1 overall in this year's edition of the NBA draft. But if the words of Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations is to be believed, they would still be able to get Markelle Fultz at No. 3.

Boston Celtics Could Still Get Markell Fultz

"We're thrilled to be able to select what we expect [to] be an impact player with the third pick in this year's very talented draft class, while also adding a highly valuable future asset as we continue to build toward Banner 18," Ainge said in a statement as posted by ESPN. The Celtics GM later added, "We think there's a really good chance the player we'll take at 3 is the same player we would have taken at 1. So this was a great opportunity to acquire an impactful asset."

What does Danny Ainge mean about this? According to Draft Express which listed mock drafts even before the trade happened where Philadelphia gets the No. 1 pick, Markelle Fultz is the solid choice, the only choice for the Boston Celtics.

Philadelphia 76ers to Pick Lonzo Ball

But did it changed after the trade? So if Boston Celtics GM is sure they can get "Markelle Fultz" at No. 3, then there's only one reason why the Philadelphia 76ers chose to exchange their No. 3 pick along with future first round draft pick - UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball.

Last week prior to the rumored trade between Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that Lonzo Ball's camp is considering talks to other teams that have lottery picks below the Los Angeles Lakers. This only confirmed earlier rumors that Lonzo was looking forward to playing alongside Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft.

ANALYSIS: Should the Philadelphia 76ers decide to pick Lonzo Ball, there are other options left for the Los Angeles Lakers who will pick at No. 2. First, they can get Josh Jackson to be Brandon Ingram's backup at No. 3 or Jordan Clarkson's backup at No. 2. The other option is to trade for someone who complements Paul George'2 style of play in preparation for 2018. These two scenarios will ensure the Boston Celtics get to pick Markell Fultz.

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