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76ers take Fultz, Lakers grab Ball to start NBA draft

"Me and my agent talked and we just didn't feel like they had much interest in drafting me at No. 1, so we felt like it would be sort of a waste of time for me to go out and work out if they were really not considering drafting me", Jackson said. "I like how humble he is and that he cares about winning a lot".

"This season has been hard".

Teams chasing those two squads may make up ground quickest with a veteran player they can only get through free agency or a trade, so that may have to wait until July.

Fultz, the 6-foot-4 guard, was selected No. 1 overall in the National Basketball Association draft Thursday night and joined former LSU guard Ben Simmons as consecutive top picks for the Sixers.

Ainge confirmed at last night's NBA Draft that the Celtics would have taken Tatum first overall had they retained the No. 1 pick, but Boston traded it earlier this week to Philadelphia because Ainge believed they could get Tatum at No. 3 just the same. In one season with the Bruins, Ball averaged 14.5 points and 7.6 assists per game.

"He used to tweet and retweet my stuff", Fultz said. "I think that I get to learn that much more, especially from a veteran team that knows what it takes to get there".

At the time, Fultz was preparing for a February 4 showdown with UCLA that turned into a 107-66 Bruins rout. The Sixers went 28-54 last season. "He's motivated to prove people wrong but not in a bad way".

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Judging by his shoes, Fultz is ready to ball.

"Our struggles had nothing to do with Markelle", said former UW coach Lorenzo Romar, who was sacked in March after 15 years with Huskies and accepted an assistant position for the Arizona Wildcats. Two stars worthy of the top pick in consecutive years, neither of which was able to lead their college programs to team success in their one season on campus.

The 76ers would not have done that, of course, if they did not badly want Fultz, a native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, whose reputation as a future star has grown exponentially over the last few years. Embiid had adopted the nickname as his own and was commonly introduced as "The Process" at home games this season. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists as his team's No. 2-scoring option behind fellow freshman Malik Monk, driving the Wildcats to the NCAA Elite Eight. Damian Lillard could use more assistance from his big men, since Jusuf Nurkic can't do it all for them.

Five times Fultz flirted with capturing the school's first triple double. And he couldn't elevate the Huskies to more than nine wins in a rough season.

With Simmons back in the lineup as the likely starting point guard, Fultz should compliment him well in the backcourt.

"Beverley, in response to the prospect that he might be dealt, told Houston's Fox 26 TV this week: "[There's] some speculation I might be going to another team.

"I mean, it's extremely gratifying for me to be in that top five, and we already knew that this was going to be a pretty tough draft and it was pretty loaded at the point guard position, and for me to be up there is just a blessing", Fox said.

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