Sixers finalize deal with Celtics for No. 1 pick: likely Markelle Fultz

The worst-kept secret is the Sixers will use the pick on Washington point guard Markelle Fultz.

PHILADELPHIA — Some have argued the 76ers surrendered too much to the Boston Celtics just to move up two spots in Thursday’s NBA draft.

However, 76ers president Bryan Colangelo is unapologetic about being in position to draft the player he covets.

Colangelo orchestrated a blockbuster trade that became finalized Monday. He would not reveal the targeted player, but the worst-kept secret is the Sixers will use the pick on Washington point guard Markelle Fultz.

The Celtics sent that pick to the Sixers for the No. 3 pick and the protected Los Angeles Lakers first-rounder in 2018, which the Sixers owned. The Celtics will get the pick if it falls in slots 2-5 in next summer’s NBA draft lottery. If it does not, Boston will receive either the Sacramento Kings’ or Sixers’ first-round pick in 2019. The Celtics would take whichever one is more favorable. But if either of those picks become the first overall, the Celtics will receive the other pick.

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“We are not pledging anything that mortgages our future,” said Colangelo, whose team also has its own pick in 2018. “We are using house money here. But to have two quality (first-round picks) in ’18 and two quality firsts in ’19, there are only so many picks that can be made with the roster spots that you have.”

Fultz worked out for the Sixers on Saturday night and posted on his Instagram page a Philly.com photo of him walking into the Sixers practice facility wearing a team cap.

Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, said the deal came at no cost to Boston whatsoever.

“We’re getting the player we want. They’re getting the player they want,” he said. “And we’re getting an additional player that we want in next year’s draft or the year after. It’s a good deal for both…

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