Basketball

NBA Draft 2017: Markelle Fultz Goes No. 1 to Sixers

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Markelle Fultz (Getty Images)

Markelle Fultz (Getty Images)

The 2017 NBA Draft kicked off on Thursday night in Brooklyn, and the Philadelphia 76ers wasted no time in selecting the player they traded up to get.

The Sixers selected guard Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington with the top overall selection, one they acquired in a trade from the Boston Celtics earlier this week.  To pry the N0.1 pick away from Boston, Philadelphia traded the No. 3 pick (Jayson Tatum)  along with a future first rounder.

Fultz is a 6’4″, 195 pound combo guard who is considered by many scouts to be the top talent in this year’s draft.  His height and wingspan will allow him to defend multiple positions in the NBA.

In just one season for the Huskies, Fultz led all major conference players with 23.2 points per game along with 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds.  He is a very good 3-point shooter, but needs improvement at the free-throw line. During his long season at Washington, he only made 64.9 percent of his foul shots.

Fultz joins Joel Embiid, Dario Saric 2016 number one pick Ben Simmons to form a nice young core in Philadelphia.  It will be interesting to see how he fits in with Simmons, who missed his entire rookie season and has yet to appear in an NBA game.  Both are excellent playmakers who could lead the Sixers back to relevance in the Eastern Conference.  If Embiid stays healthy and Saric continues to improve, Philly could have one of the most intriguing young cores in the NBA.

According to reports, the Sixers traded back into the first-round and selected Latvian big man Anzejs Pasecniks with the 25th pick.  In return for the 7’2″ center, the Sixers sent a protected 2020 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick to the Orlando Magic. The 21-year-old averaged 7.8 points and 3.1 rebounds this past season in Spain.

Second Round:  Thanks to all their wheeling and dealing, the Sixers wound up with four second-round selections.  Here’s what they did with them:

No. 36:  Jonah Bolden, PF, Australia.

No. 39: Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State – traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for cash.

No. 46:  Sterling Brown, SG, SMU – traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.

No. 50: Mathias Lessort, SF, France.

Jason Goldstein

Jason Goldstein

Jason Goldstein is the Basketball Editor at DoubleGSports.com while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties.
Jason Goldstein

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