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76ers trade for No. 1 pick in 2017 NBA Draft in deal with Celtics

The Celtics will get the No. 3 pick and one future first-rounder from Philadelphia in either 2018 or 2019.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It’s now official. The Philadelphia 76ers are on the clock, and they are expected to take Washington point guard Markelle Fultz to team with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

The 76ers have acquired the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Boston Celtics in exchange for the No. 3 pick and a future first-rounder in either 2018 or 2019. They will send the Celtics the 2018 first-round pick originally from the Lakers if it falls between slots 2-5. If not, Boston will receive either Philadelphia’s own 2019 first-round pick or Sacramento’s, whichever is higher. (That is, unless one of the two wins the lottery).

The complicated trade was completed over the weekend and consummated Monday morning. The 76ers welcomed Fultz in for a workout on Saturday to confirm his medical condition.

Fultz’s college basketball season came to a close early after the Washington Huskies failed to make the NCAA tournament with a 9-22 record on the season. The freshman guard had a sensational year, averaging 23 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game, along with 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks on the defensive end.

After his freshman season, Fultz was next seen at a 76ers game in early April. When asked about the idea of playing in Philadelphia, he said “Oh, man, I can see it happening. I think it would be a great atmosphere, so it would be cool."

The Celtics finished last season with the East’s best record, but acquired the No. 1 overall pick from the Brooklyn Nets as part of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets in 2013. Boston also owns Brooklyn’s pick in 2018.

Boston dangled the Brooklyn pick when trying to acquire Jimmy Butler and Paul George at the trade deadline. The Celtics have Isaiah Thomas, an All-Star point guard in the prime of his career, and need a top-notch wing player to help push the team to the next level.

Now that Boston has completed the trade, it could select Duke’s Jayson Tatum or Kansas’ Josh Jackson at No. 3. ESPN’s Chad Ford cited a front office source that was convinced the Celtics would draft Jackson days before the trade rumors surfaced.

"I've picked Danny's brain for years," the general manager said. "Jackson is an Ainge player all the way. Tough, athletic, long, versatile, elite motor. If he's keeping the pick, Jackson just to me, far and away, is the most Celtics-type player for them to draft. From all my conversations with them, I'm convinced they'll take Jackson No. 1."

At No. 3, Boston would be able to select Lonzo Ball if the Los Angeles Lakers pass on him, and would also have first dibs on other remaining guards, including Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr., and Kentucky’s Malik Monk.

The trade also solidifies a formidable 76ers starting lineup, if healthy. Philadelphia drafted Embiid and Simmons in 2014 and 2016. Embiid is coming off one of the better rookie seasons of this century, but only played 31 games due to injuries. Simmons never touched the floor his rookie season but is expected to return for the start of next year.

Philadelphia also enjoyed a strong rookie season from Dario Saric, whose rise makes the 76ers future even scarier. Adding Fultz, an electrifying scorer both on and off the ball, could give Philadelphia a shot at swiftly changing its standing as perennial Eastern Conference bottom-dwellers.