The Philadelphia 76ers just traded with the Boston Celtics for the 1st overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
This trade is huge since Philadelphia also had number one pick in last year’s NBA draft, where they drafted LSU star Ben Simmons. The Sixers are reportedly going after University of Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, who has drawn comparisons to All-Star Russell Westbrook. NBA analysts are predicting that Philadelphia is trying to make a “Big 3”, with Fultz, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid as their core three players. However, with Philadelphia’s move towards Fultz, how will this effect the rest of the NBA Draft?
The short answer is not that much. The long answer concerns the next two teams: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. First, let’s examine what the Lakers are going to do with their pick. Many experts and fans agree that the Lakers will pick one of the most talked-about players in the draft, Lonzo Ball. Ball’s talent is strong, but the reason he is so talked about is not about his skill-set, but about the people around him. And by the people around him, this mainly means his father LaVar Ball. He has become such a media sensation, from claiming that Lonzo is better than Steph Curry to himself boasting that he could beat Michael Jordan in his prime (even though LaVar himself only averaged 2 points while playing for Washington State).
This big personality has caused some NBA teams to move away from Ball, even though his main goal is to become a Laker. But what if the Lakers are turned off by the Ball family’s behavior? Will they draft a touted player like D’eaaron Fox or Josh Jackson instead?
Now onto the team which recently traded with the Sixers, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are in pretty good shape, with the team making it to the Eastern Conference Finals this year with help from star point guard Isaiah Thomas. Even though they were expected to pick Fultz before the trade, he would’ve played backup to Thomas. Boston is also expected to score big in free agency this off-season, with names like Gordon Hayward and Jimmy Butler reportedly interested in joining. So, this year’s draft is not as big for them as other teams like the Sixers and Lakers. Expect them to draft a shooting forward, like Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum.
After these two teams decide who they are going to draft, the rest is pretty much set. The person with the most pressure on their shoulders in this draft is Markelle Fultz. All the praise and comparisons can be dangerous before a draft (no matter what sport), and if you’re going to be the projected number one pick, you have to earn the praise on the court.