De'Aaron Fox, a point guard who scored 39 points against Ball-led UCLA in the national college tournament, is also among the top prospects. FILE - In this February 1, 2017, file photo, Washington's Markelle Fultz (20) drives to the basket ahead of Southern California's De'Anthony Melton during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, in Seattle. The two have battled back to James' days in Miami, and he has been inspired by George's comeback from a horrific leg injury in 2014 while playing for the US national team.
Heading into this week, the Boston Celtics, through the lottery, had attained the number one overall pick while the Philadelphia 76ers garnered the third pick in this year's draft.
Philadelphia will pair Fultz, a high-scoring point guard out of the University of Washington, with Ben Simmons, last year's No. 1 overall pick who missed the entire season with a foot injury. Duke'sJayson Tatum might sneak into the top three. L.A. traded point guard D'Angelo Russell, probably to make way for UCLA's Lonzo Ball.
The Celtics, equipped with the No. 3 pick after their blockbuster trade, have found themselves linked with pretty much every big name free agent and superstar in the past few weeks.
"It just shows you what the National Basketball Association is about".
"I talked about that with coach Brad Stevens", Tatum said. "It just shows you how this business is and like I said, I just go with the flow. But any good player is going to have attention on him at all times, and I'm pretty used to it by now".
Though Fultz heads what's widely regarded as a strong draft class, the young stars have had to share the spotlight this week with veterans who are - or could be - on the move. Hence, the pick protections were negotiated in: the Celtics would only get the pick if it fell between the 2-5 slots.
Zach Johnson making an early move at Erin Hills
Moments later, he began a run of five straight birdies that put him right where he wanted to be going into the weekend. Open record in relation to par with his seven-under score, and his bogey-free 65 could have been even better.
Lonzo Ball wants to stay home with the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2, and it seems surer than ever he will. "They've been coming through my phone with the ESPN app", Kentucky guard Malik Monk said. "It happens nearly every year, so I wasn't shocked about it".
Overall, this looks like it will shape out to be a good move for the Sixers if Fultz fills out the way that he is expected to.
Some have argued that the 76ers surrendered too much to the Boston Celtics just to move up two spots in Thursday's National Basketball Association draft. Additionally, one of his main weapons on the court was his defense- often times locking down the opposing teams' best perimeter player.
"We feel like it's a jump-start for us", said Ainge.
How does the ACC stack up to other Power 5 conferences producing first-round caliber players in this year's draft?
Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball were front and center when all the expected top picks took their traditional photo before Thursday night's National Basketball Association draft.
Paul George made his intentions very clear with his current team, reportedly saying he wants to play out his last season under contract, and then leaving IN during the 2018 free agency to join Luke Walton and his Lakers for the foreseeable future.
If it turns out to be the case, then once again Ainge will have proven his prowess as a GM, securing the player he really coveted at #3, and still securing a first round pick in next year's NBA Draft.