The Boston Celtics have confidence they made the right move in trading the first overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for No. 3 and a future first rounder.
Philadelphia will draft Markelle Fultz, a player they clearly liked more than Boston did.
The Celtics are expected to select either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum, though there's a chance the Los Angeles Lakers pass on Lonzo Ball at No. 2.
“I think even before the lottery we’ve been evaluating these kids for a couple years and we felt like it was very close with the top handful of players, and we still feel that way,” Ainge said. “We think there’s a really good chance the player we’ll take at 3 is the same player we would have taken at 1. So this was a great opportunity to acquire an impactful asset.”
The pick protections on the second pick is rather limited in which they won't be able to get the top overall pick in either scenario.
“Those were things that were negotiated,” Ainge said. “They weren’t OK with giving up any of those picks to move down two spots in the draft, but eventually we got the picks that we wanted. They were not OK with giving up a potential No. 1 pick to move up two slots in this particular draft. It was negotiated and negotiated in a way that was fair for both teams.”