The Boston Celtics will trade the number 1 overall pick this year to Philly in exchange for the 2017 No. 3, a 2018 1st rounder and a 2019 1st rounder.

The Sixers apparently weren’t the only teams in pursuit of Fultz. The Lakers and even the Suns were rumored to have interest. Ultimately though, it seems that Philly was able to offer Boston the best deal.

Check the trade grades of the Philadelphia and Boston Celtics.

Boston receives – 2017 #3 pick, 2018 Lakers first-round pick*, 2019 Kings first-round pick**

Philadelphia receives – 2017 #1 pick

*Protected; unknown protections on top & bottom
**Will only convey if LAL 1st doesn’t

 

Philadelphia 76ers: A+

WOW. Philly schemed the trade-hungry Celtics into taking way less than what the pick is worth and still get to keep one of those future picks. At first, when I thought both future picks were going to Boston with no protections, I was going to give Philly an A. Now? Well, an A+ is as high as I can go. Fultz is an unquestionably elite prospect who is at the level of Rose, Irving, Wall, etc. Well, actually no “etc” – it’s just those four. In the past ten years, these are the top PG prospects. And Philly gets him without giving up any of their players, and only one future pick? Seems to me like Boston got robbed.

Remember when we thought Minnesota would be a dynasty with Dunn, LaVine, Wiggins, and KAT? Well, prepare for Philly. Because if somehow everyone stays healthy (Although Fultz at least will get injured and miss the whole year; otherwise how would he relate to his teammates?), they could legitimately make a playoff push. Players like TJ McConnell, Robert Covington, and Dario Saric will thrive in lesser roles. And don’t forget other players that are already on the team or coming over: Sauce Castillo, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, FurkanKorkmaz, Richaun Holmes, former #3 pick Ja-you know what, we can skip him. Anyway, this core is so incredibly young and talented; they have all their picks moving forward and have cap space even Danny Ainge would die for. Maybe that’s why he did this trade – just to talk to someone with that much cap space.

 

Boston Celtics: B-

Photo by Tara Carvalho

At first, I was fine with this trade for Boston. “They could get Porter and Ayton next year!” “And Bagley III the year after that!” Then the protections happened and I was still convinced that Ainge was to be trusted. TRUST THE AINGE-CESS!… (Actually that was really weird. Moving on.) “Well, maybe Ayton and Bomba!” “And then Zion!” Well, plans of Boston having perhaps the greatest young core EVER (Smart/Rozier, Bradley, Jaylen/Jackson/Nader, Williamson/Bomba, Ayton) fell to pieces with the recent news of how the protections work.

Now, instead of 2 picks, they will only get one – and it likely won’t be #1. So, say they don’t make it in 2018, and then miss on Bagley in 2019. They went from (when it was unprotected) possibly Porter/Ayton/Bagley to Porter/Williamson. Yeesh. Now, I can see some reasoning for this. Maybe Danny didn’t want to have to reshuffle his backcourt, or at least didn’t think Fultz was worth it? That is a possibility. Or he didn’t think Fultz was worth #1/thought Jackson was a better prospect? Well, that is also a very real possibility. Ainge does love his wings who can’t shoot! (See: Brown, Jaylen and Bradley, Avery) But I see something deeper here. Something that really was the cause of the trade – not that he thought this was the best offer. It wasn’t that he even viewed Fultz as largely overrated. And Jackson? Well, he hasn’t been in for a workout yet, and neither has Lonzo. So what is it? Well, think back to this Danny Ainge quote from 2015:

(On if you can ever have too many picks) “No, because picks are always tradeable; players are not. Picks are always assets.”

Think back to 2013, where Ainge traded two LEGENDS – one of whom was a franchise icon – for draft picks. Last year he had 7 picks, including 3 first-rounders. Is it all making sense now? He wouldn’t trade for Butler or George not because he didn’t like them, but because he didn’t want to give up the necessary assets. READ: Picks. Time and again, Ainge has chosen picks over players. And the dagger in the heart: the other team.

Sam Hinkie’s ghost lives in Philly; we can all agree upon that. But I believe that Hinkie’s soul lives in Danny Ainge. That’s right – Ainge is possessed by Sam Hinkie’s soul. Assets, assets, assets… and the demon/cult hero who gave birth to Joel Embiid led Danny right into a trap. It was quite easy, really. Hinkie wants to give back to the Philly fans for all the suffering they’ve endured (and also because they love him). So Hinkie whispers into Ainge’s ear, “Tradessssss…..” (I’m not sure why he hisses like a snake, but we’ll roll with it.) The trade talk draws Ainge in, and on Earth, there is no Admiral Ackbar to yell, “It’s a trap!” It’s just Colangelo… Danny… Trades…. And Hinkie’s soul creepily whispering into Danny’s ear about “Assetsssss” and “Tradessss”. Poor Danny Ainge, it’s not his fault Boston fans are crying in the streets. He never stood a chance.

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