WITH less than a week away, the drama surrounding the NBA Draft intensified with talks of a potential trade from the Boston Celtics involving the team’s rights to the No. 1 pick.
League sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Marc Stein on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) that the Celtics have been working on a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers that would send Philly’s 3rd pick in Thursday’s draft along with a package of picks for Boston’s top selection.
This deal could see potential top pick Markelle Fultz team up with last year’s No.1 selection Ben Simmons and another rising star in Joel Embiid with the Sixers, while the Celtics are reportedly eyeing forward Josh Jackson for the third pick given their loaded backcourt.
Another option behind this Celtics plan to stockpile more first-round picks is a possible run at Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler, according to ZagsBlog’s Adam Zagoria. Boston has been previously linked to Butler as one of the Bulls guard’s top suitors before last season’s trade deadline.
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, however, had reported back in February that the Chicago front office isn’t too keen on a rebuild, which put to rest all negotiations involving Butler up to the deadline. It remains uncertain how willing the Bulls are now to trade one of their stars and start over after a first-round exit in the last playoffs.
Fultz, on the other hand, has no meeting planned so far with the Sixers, as sources told ESPN’s Ian Begley