It may not come to pass until Draft night on Thursday, but the steps to make it possible for the Celtics to trade the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers keep moving forward.
First among those, likely No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz will work out for the Sixers on Saturday, something reported by multiple sources then confirmed by the 76ers.
The Celtics only want only picks back, not players, because they need to clear out cap space to chase Gordon Hayward this summer. If they don’t land Hayward, or Blake Griffin, they could use the picks in a package to chase Jimmy Butler. That said, history has generally not been kind to teams that traded away the top pick.
Philly would get the No. 1 pick this year, but they pay a steep price unless you’re entirely sold on Fultz. Pairing Fultz with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could make the Sixers a powerhouse in a few years, if they can stay healthy and develop.
This deal will not get consummated until Monday at the earliest, with Draft night more likely, listing to buzz I hear around the league. But it has momentum and may well happen.