Markelle Fultz was widely expected to be the Boston Celtics' first overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft this Thursday, but the former Washington star is now likely headed to Philadelphia after the Celtics and Sixers reportedly agreed to a deal to swap places. The Celtics will acquire the Sixers' No. 3 overall pick, along with a future first-rounder.
On Monday's episode of "Undisputed", Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe reacted to the deal.
The Celtics clearly don't believe there is a generational talent in this draft
“Somebody hacked Joel Embiid’s account, he’s talking about ‘legendary.’ Skip, the Celtics, the team that moves down and still feels they can get a very good player, or the guy that they want, while acquiring future draft picks - that team is the winner.
"But what this tells me is the Celtics believe there’s not a transcendent player. Because let me ask you this, Skip ... if there was an Anthony Davis or LeBron James or Magic Johnson or Shaquille O’Neal in this draft, do you see anybody moving down?
"The fact that they’re willing to move two spots and feel [comfortable] … now I believe this is a Josh Jackson deal. They’re like ‘We were going to take Josh at one, probably, so why not move back, they take Fultz, Lakers take Lonzo?’”
Bill StreicherBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Is Boston just waiting for LeBron to get old?
“My thing is, what are the Celtics trying to accomplish? They’ve got everybody’s [picks], they’ve got Sacramento’s No. 1 coming, they’ve got the Lakers’ No. 1, they’ve still got Brooklyn’s No. 1, they’ve got theirs next year … what are they trying to accomplish?
"Are they hoping that in another four, five years that LeBron, ‘You know what, LeBron is going to be old. He can’t keep playing like his forever!’
"I get what the Golden State Warriors did. Their big three core players, they drafted Steph, Klay and Draymond - but it wasn’t until Year Six, Seven and Eight that they came to be the Golden State Warriors as we know them. Still, it took outsiders. It took an Andre Iguodala, Finals MVP. Shaun Livingston. Barbosa. Bogut. It took KD to help get them over the hump.”
Greg M. CooperGreg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The Sixers lost this deal
“So you’re acquiring these players, and maybe at one point in time they’ll be good. But you still need a stud, you still need somebody who can come in.
"I just don’t see it with the way they’re currently constructed with Al Horford. He’s not a superstar. Isaiah Thomas? He’s not a superstar. They’re not beating the Cavaliers. So, clearly, to answer the question, the Celtics got the better of this deal. They moved back, not only did they have to move back just two spots, now we get your first round next year.
"Now consider this. Ben Simmons, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, missed the entire season. Joel Embiid has missed two of his three seasons, and he only played about 32 games last year. So I’m supposed to believe that that’s going to be ‘legendary’?
"There’s a good chance the Celtics could be in the very position they’re in again [next year] with the No. 1 overall draft pick, be it with the Sixers or the Brooklyn Nets.”
Bill StreicherBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
There's no evidence that Markelle Fultz will become a true star
“If we’re just talking about Markelle Fultz, then the Celtics did exactly what they should have done. They should have traded back and let Philly make that mistake. Now I’m going to remind you … isn’t this highly unusual? This would have the Sixers in back-to-back years taking a first overall pick, starting with Ben Simmons a year ago, and neither Ben Simmons nor Markelle Fultz was able to lead their team to the NCAA tournament. Really? Isn’t that some indicator of how great you are? What your rub-off factor is? How great you make the rest of your team?
"Danny Ainge is not seeing in Markelle Fultz what I’m not seeing. Which is ‘huh, what’s up with this?’ Markelle Fultz was a 65 percent free throw shooter last year. Really? And this guy’s going to be a quote-unquote two-guard shooter? A scorer? 65 percent, really? That’s LeBron James territory.”
Joe NicholsonJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
It seems like the Celtics are leaning toward Josh Jackson
“I don’t get that, and I don’t see what he did do for his team. I kept watching Ben Simmons a year ago and I said ‘what’s he doing?’ I think he just didn’t want to be in Baton Rouge. I think he felt like ‘You’re forcing me to do this. Your rules say, your laws say that I have to go to college for one year, and I don’t want to go to college. So I think I’ll just stand over here and watch most of the time over here on the wing, and I’ll just let you four run around and see what you can do.’
"I’m with you. The signs point to Josh Jackson going third to Boston. Danny Ainge has a long history of loving those sort of high-motor wings who can play defense and make plays. Josh Jackson fits the bill, I got that. I like him a lot. But you know what I think? I like Lonzo Ball more.”
Denny MedleyDenny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah Thomas isn't cut out to be Boston's No. 1 guy
“And I am also with you on this. When I look at the Celtics versus the Cavaliers, the Celtics are architecturally flawed at their core. They have built around this little mighty mite, who is what, 5-foot-9? And I love him. I love his heart and his guts and his nerve. He is a big shot taker and maker.
"He is *not* a point guard. He averaged 5.9 assists, that was his career high last year. LeBron was what, 8.7 assists? And Draymond was seven assists.
"So, really? That’s your guy? You’re depending on him to be your playmaker, he’s going to be your starter, initiate all your action. He’s really not an assist guy, and then you go to the other end and he’s a defensive liability.
"Again, nothing but respect for him, but just on sheer size he has some big issues. Little man, big issues.”
Winslow TownsonWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
The Celtics should have stayed at No. 1 and taken Lonzo Ball
“In this case, if I’m Danny Ainge - and he obviously will not do this - I would want to take Lonzo Ball. I would have sat right there at No. 1 and said ‘I’m going to take the transcendent player. I’m going to take the game-changer. I’m going to take the guy who is rare, he’s a once-in-a-generation passer - because I need a point guard! No. 1, I need a point guard.’”
Shannon Sharpe: “Are you going to trade Isaiah Thomas?”
Skip Bayless: “I would try. Or I would try to make him my microwave, my Vinnie Johnson. Not bringing him off the bench but … a little bit, I’d mix and match him more.”
Shannon Sharpe: “But here’s the thing though, Skip. He’s most effective when he has the ball in his hands. That’s why Sacramento couldn’t maximize his ability, that’s why Phoenix couldn’t maximize his ability. Because he needs the ball. He’s a ball-dominant player.”
Skip Bayless: “OK, well then I would take all the rest of my stockpile of draft picks and I would go get Jimmy Butler from Chicago. And if I had to give Jae Crowder up, I’d give Jae Crowder up.”