Just when you thought it was safe to stop checking for trade rumors for the weekend, the biggest whopper of them all just hit the internet. According to Zach Lowe and ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Sixers are in “serious talks” to move up for the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Heres’ the word so far from Stein and Lowe:
League sources tell @ZachLowe_NBA and me that the Sixers and Celtics are in serious talks on a trade involving the No. 1 overall pick.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 16, 2017
In current parameters, BOS would receive several picks and no players, sources say. Have to think No. 3 would be involved. https://t.co/xHYANlYzeT— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 16, 2017
But this isn’t just your typical smokescreen or play to drive up value. Everyone in the basketball reporting universe is weighing in, including the king of the scoop himself, Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sources: Philadelphia is waiting on medical information on Markelle Fultz, but deep into talks on acquiring Boston's No. 1 overall pick.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 16, 2017
Boston would acquire Sixers No. 3 overall pick in 2017 and package to include future first from Sixers, sources say. https://t.co/AK5LyYXnYX— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 16, 2017
Deal talks are far enough along that Fultz could be on his way to Philadelphia for a meeting Saturday, sources say. https://t.co/kR8vwZu8i2— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 16, 2017
This would be nothing short of a blockbuster deal. You would have to assume future picks—like the Lakers pick next year and the Kings pick in 2019—would certainly be on the table in any transaction between the two teams, in addition to the Sixers’ own No. 3 pick.
Weeks prior to this big break in the story, there was information to suggest the Sixers had an interest in trading up for No. 1.
Liberty Ballers was told the Sixers made exploratory phone calls with the Celtics weeks ago, but up until now, nothing seemed all that pressing. It fell firmly in the, “well, duh” realm of information, because of course they would want to trade up if the price was right. Though we’ve written numerous times about trading up for Markelle Fultz in previous mailbags, articles, and all sorts of other informal talks, it seemed like a distant possibility.
If in fact this is on the table, this could shake up not just the future of the franchise, but the future of the league as well. The Celtics would come into a bushel of assets by way of the Sixers, and the Sixers would get the clear-cut top prospect in the class, who just so happens to be a perfect fit with their core pieces already in place.
But the Sixers could have some competition for the top pick. Fultz worked out for the Lakers on Thursday, and according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Magic Johnson is enamored by the expected top pick.
Multiple sources have told me that Magic "is in love" with Fultz. May try to move up to #1, possibly with a Julius Randle + #2 pick offer.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 16, 2017
A package of the No. 2 overall pick and Julius Randle certainly wouldn’t be enough to exceed anythin Philadelphia is offering, especially if the potential deal is centered around all of their high future picks. Bryan Colangelo certainly seems to be in the drivers seat in this scenario.
This story is developing.
Update (6:11 p.m): Zach Lowe appeared on SportsCenter to discuss his report on the potential deal, and says the pieces are in place to get it done.
Zach Lowe says the deal is agreed to in principle and that he'd be surprised if it didn't go through. https://t.co/l1Ro2YTVXs— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) June 16, 2017
“The terms are potentially agreed to,” Lowe said. “I would be really surprised if it fell apart.”
Lowe confirmed no players would be involved, and said at the moment all he could say was the deal would include the third overall pick and one future first. As Lowe speculated, the future pick could include the Lakers unprotected 2018 pick, or the Sacramento Kings unprotected 2019 first. There will presumably be more than that included in the trade.
Update (6:27 p.m.): Adrian Wojnarowski confirms that the Lakers unprotected pick would be a part of the deal with Boston.