League sources told ESPN that the Sixers and Celtics are working on a trade that, in its current iteration, would send a package of Sixers draft picks to Boston — including Philadelphia’s No. 3 overall selection in Thursday’s draft — in exchange for Boston’s turn at No. 1.
Completing such a deal would put the Sixers in position to draft guard Markelle Fultz and pair him in their backcourt with Ben Simmons, last year’s No. 1 overall pick who has yet to make his NBA debut.
While it is widely assumed in league circles that the Sixers would target Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick, sources say Philadelphia and Boston are likewise high on Kansas forward Josh Jackson.
ESPN’s Chad Ford reported Thursday that the Celtics, already flush with a stable of guards featuring Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart, have contemplated using the No. 1 overall pick on Jackson, a forward.
One source close to the talks expressed confidence Friday that the deal would go through, telling ESPN “they are swapping 1 and 3.”
The Celtics last traded a No. 1 pick in 1980, when they dealt it to the Golden State Warriors, who chose Purdue’s Joe Barry Carroll. Boston netted two eventual Hall of Famers in the transaction, getting four-year veteran Robert Parish and the No. 3 overall pick, which was used on Kevin McHale.
Information from ESPN’s Stats & Information was used in this report.