By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
Sixers fans can feel safe buying their Markelle Fultz jersey (unlike certain Boston fans), as the trade announced over the weekend was finalized Monday sending the first overall pick in this Thursday’s draft to Philadelphia. The terms are largely the same as those previous disclosed. The Sixers are sending the third overall pick in this year’s draft and the 2018 Lakers pick, if the LA pick falls between 2-5.
Differing from the previous report though is what happens if the 2018 Lakers pick falls either first overall or 6-30. Under that scenario, Philadelphia will send Boston the better of the 2019 Kings pick and their own 2019 first-rounder, unless one of those picks is first overall, in which case they would send the lesser pick. Largely, these are slightly better terms for Boston than it being just the Kings pick. You would expect the Sixers to be better than Sacramento in 2019 given the promising young core they’re building in Philadelphia (now with 100% more Markelle Fultz), and for the adjusted terms not to come into play. But as Sam Hinkie taught us, you should never take such things for granted.
Still, Bryan Colangelo did well to put protections in place of a potential first overall pick in both years. Now, the absolute worst-case scenario for the Sixers is having to give up the third pick this year and a second overall pick in a future draft. That scenario would look pretty good for Boston, but still largely be irrelevant if Fultz goes on to become the star many project him to be. There’s also still a good chance it’s the third pick plus something like a late lottery pick later on. Say, the Lakers have the 7th pick next year, so it reverts to 2019, and the Sixers make the playoffs with the Kings getting the 11th pick. Then, the trade would be a landslide victory for the Sixers.
One last point I’d like to make relates to something Colangelo mentioned in his press conference Monday afternoon.
“I think I’ve been talking to Mike Zarren about this Laker pick for, I don’t know, a yr & and a half, it seems." – Colangelo on trade w Cs
— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoCSN) June 19, 2017
Now, I’m not saying Sam Hinkie ever should have been forced out. The current talent on the roster speaks to the outstanding job he did during his tenure as general manager of the Sixers. However, maybe there was something to management’s complaint that Hinkie rubbed too many people the wrong way in basketball circles. Colangelo, as the “relationships” guy, did seem to have that going for him in communicating about the Lakers pick with Boston for a long period of time and pulling this deal off. Ultimately, I guess I wish management had just been more forthright with Hinkie about needing to moderate his approach when dealing with other people around the league, and then been more patient to see if he could change for the better in that regard.
Regardless, that situation is in the past, and the future couldn’t be brighter in Philadelphia. Sixers fans had their fun Monday with Retweet Armagaddeon, dredging up every terrible take about the Process from over the years. As much fun as I’m having traipsing the coast in the Pacific Northwest, it was one of the few times I actually wished I was stuck in a cubicle and could follow along closely with everything. Yet, the real fun will be had when Markelle Fultz plops on that Sixers hat Thursday night. I can’t wait.