Report: Celtics would have drafted Jayson Tatum No. 1 overall
The success the Boston Celtics are enjoying in this year’s NBA playoffs is just a reminder of how much they fleeced the Philadelphia 76ers in last year’s trade.
Prior to the draft, the Celtics traded the No. 1 overall pick to the 76ers for the No. 3 pick and a future high draft pick. Philly moved up so they could get Markelle Fultz, whom they felt was the missing piece that would complete “The Process.” Boston moved down and drafted Jayson Tatum.
Even if they had never made the trade, talks continue to say that the Celtics still would have drafted Tatum at No. 1. The latest word came from ESPN’s Zach Lowe on “The Lowe Post” podcast.
“The Celtics would have taken Tatum No. 1,” Lowe said. “They would have.”
“Nobody believes that part, but they were adamant about it,” guest Bill Simmons reiterated.
“If you’re Philly and you don’t do that trade, you’re still getting Fultz probably. The Lakers are probably going to take Lonzo (Ball) at No. 2. So, you do nothing, you get Fultz. So Boston in order to pull that trade off has to, number one, convince Philly that they or the Lakers were taking Fultz and, number two, be sure that the Lakers are taking Ball and that the Sixers are taking Fultz. Then, fleece (Philly) to get this extra pick, which could be literally the No. 2 pick in the draft next year from the Kings. Fultz-Tatum is not the exchange that was made for Philly. It’s really about the extra asset,” said Lowe.
Not only did Boston get the guy they were going to draft at the top anyhow, but they also added what will likely become Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2019.
Tatum is averaging 18.6 points per game this postseason, while Fultz was a total enigma and played in just 17 games this season (including the playoffs). For now, it looks like Philly paid more to get an inferior player.