Pelicans get Jackson from Charlotte in draft deal


The Philadelphia 76ers have selected guard Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick in the National Basketball Association draft.

Already picking first in lieu of a trade with the Boston Celtics, the Sixers are reportedly probing the trade market once more in an attempt to work their way into another late first round pick.

And that made the decision by Boston to select Duke's Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick a lot easier than some might have thought. He found one in Butler, who the Wolves acquired along with the 16th overall pick for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick, which ended up being - what else? - another freshman, Arizona's Lauri Markkanen.

The Sixers believe Dario Saric and Robert Covington are both vital pieces toward their first playoff berth since 2012 and they hold four second-round picks (36, 39, 46, 50) that can be dangled to sweeten trades, add roster depth or used to draft-and-stash players overseas or in the developmental league.

"In high school I told my trainer Keith I wanted to be the No. 1 player in the country and the No. 1 draft pick, so it was a goal I set out there, and that's what I was striving for", Fultz said. Or try the Los Angeles Clippers who picked first, fourth, third and second from 1998-2001 and had just one first-round exit over that span until 2012.

Boston, meanwhile, could potentially own the draft rights to seven first-round selections over the next three seasons. "History suggests that No. 1 has the greatest odds of producing franchise-level talent and we are confident that this year's draft class has that very potential".

And if the last few days are indication, what follows might be a wild night inside Barclays Center.

Rumors swirling around both Jimmy Butler and Paul George among others have helped to create an active rumor mill leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft and the start of free agency on July 1. The Sacramento Kings have two top-10 picks, while National Basketball Association champion Golden State and runner-up Cleveland have none in the first round. I never saw him play when he was at DeMatha, but then he ended up coming out to the University of Washington so I got to see him play in person.

Lonzo Ball of UCLA is expected to go No. 2 to the Lakers, although the sides have yet to reach agreement on a deal. "I mean, say you want to do something, and to go out and do it is unbelievable".

The road ends Thursday in NY.

The Celtics should be considered a darkhorse for Smith at No. 3 overall after making their move down from the top spot. They can use those picks or package them in trades, so expect Colangelo to do a little more wheeling and dealing.

Fultz, 19, will join Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons as part of a young 76ers core that could terrify the National Basketball Association for many years to come.

The former Washington star had promised to make a shoe statement. When the Philadelphia 76ers traded up for the No. 1 slot, it was clear who their target would be. In spite of that, we've watched Josh for two years, and we're fans (of him).

New Orleans traded its first-round pick - 10th overall - to Sacramento in February as part of a trade to acquire Cousins.

When he came up against likely top-10 pick next year Michigan State's Miles Bridges, who also is somewhere between a power forward and small forward, Jackson didn't get to the basket or necessarily lock Bridges down.