Markelle Fultz was in Los Angeles Thursday working out for Lakers

Markelle Fultz was in Los Angeles Thursday working out for Lakers

BOSTON – Markelle Fultz has established himself as the front-runner to be taken by the Boston Celtics with the top overall pick in the June 22 NBA draft.

But the Celtics have not promised the 19-year-old they will select him, which is why he spent Thursday afternoon working out for the Los Angeles Lakers – owners of the number two overall pick.

“Never know where I might land,” Fultz told reporters in Los Angeles following his workout. “Just wanted to see how it is out here.”

While he is considered the top guard prospect in the draft, there’s little separation between him and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball (the odds-on favorite to be drafted by the Lakers) and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox who are both considered top-5 prospects.


And the wild card in all this is Kansas small forward Josh Jackson who decided to pull out of a scheduled workout with the Celtics after he was reportedly given a promise – the Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers who have the number 3 pick, have been the teams most associated with being the team to make a promise to Jackson.

While the optics of Fultz working out for the Lakers certainly doesn’t sit well with Celtics Nation, one thing everyone has to remember.

As the owner of the top overall pick, the draft doesn’t start until the Celtics say so. And while they are among the teams near the top that really like Jackson, league executives CSNNE.com has spoken with and exchanged text messages with this week maintain that the 19-year-old Fultz remains the top player in the draft and the overwhelming favorite to be selected by Boston.

Following Fultz’s workout for the Celtics earlier this month, he spoke to Comcast SportsNet.

“It was a good experience,” he told CSN. “It’s just a blessing. I’m honored to be here; honored to have the opportunity.” 

He also got a chance to spend time with head coach Brad Stevens to get a better sense of how he would fit in with Stevens’ vision for the franchise.

“Just the way the program is; they expect the best,” Fultz said. “I just learned some stuff … working hard. I already work hard, but (the Celtics) … pushing me to the next level and making me the best player I can be.”

And if things go as planned, he will be bringing his talents to Boston next fall.

But just in case the Celtics have a change of heart and decide to turn to another highly-regarded draft prospect, Fultz is doing his due diligence to make sure he’s not caught off guard.

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

1:31 - With the results of Kyrie Irving’s second opinion on he knee looming, the Celtic’s season is certainly up in the air. A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Mannix, Kyle Draper and Gary Tanguay debate how and if Kyrie should be used if he returns.

6:02 - Back in October Michael Felger prematurely said the Bruins season was over. The B’s marketing team featured Felger in an ad for playoff tickets now that the Bruins have clinched the playoffs. Felger, Trenni and Gary react to the commercial and discuss the Bruins playoff chances.

11:47 - The Patriots are making moves! on Tursday the Pats made deals with LaAdrian Waddle, Marquis Flowers and Patrick Chung. Phil Perry, Michael Holley, Troy Brown and Tom Curran discuss how despite these moves, the Patriots should still be in search of a left tackle.

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

File Photo

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

BOSTON – We live in a world filled with success stories that came about by accident. 

The invention of the microwave oven.

Post-It notes.

The creation of potato chips.

The Boston Celtics’ game-winning play against Oklahoma City earlier this week qualfies; a play in which there were multiple miscues made by the Celtics prior to Marcus Morris’ game-winning shot. 


All these Celtics injuries have made Brad Stevens a mad scientist of sorts with some unusual lineups that may be on display tonight against the guard-centric Portland Trail Blazers. 

In Boston’s 100-99 win over the Thunder on Tuesday, we saw Stevens utilize a lineup with Al Horford and Greg Monroe, in four different stints.

Monroe, who had 17 points off the bench - the most he has scored as a Celtic -  enjoyed playing with Horford.

“Al’s so smart. He’s seen it all in this league,” Monroe told NBC Sports Boston. “He’s an all-star. Very cerebral player, unselfish. So it’s easy playing with him. He can space, drive, make plays. I feel like I can make plays, driving. It’s fun playing with him. I look forward to getting out there with him more.”

Horford had similar praise for playing with Monroe.

“Coach (Brad Stevens) made a great move bringing Greg back in, in the fourth, playing us together,” Horford said. “He made some great plays, passing the ball and just … timely plays. It’s one of those things, the more we play with each other the more comfortable we’ll get. I thought it was very positive.”

Monroe’s role has become significantly more important with the season-ending injury (torn meniscus, left knee) to Daniel Theis. And his ability to play well with various lineups will only improve Boston’s chances of weathering this latest storm of injuries which comes on the eve of the playoffs. 

And while there’s a certain amount of pleasure all players take in being on a playoff-bound team, Monroe understands better than most NBA veterans just how special it is to be headed towards the postseason.

In his eighth season, this will only be Monroe’s second time participating in the playoffs. 

The first time? 

That was last year, with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

“This is what everybody plays for, I hope,” Monroe said. “This is what I play for, to get into the postseason, make a run. It’s the best situation. I’ve been through a lot in my career, this year. I’m grateful. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team.”

And he has done that lately.

Monroe comes into tonight’s game having scored in double figures each of the last four games, a season high for the 6-foot-11 center. 

Having spent most of his NBA career watching instead of participating in the playoffs, Monroe is out to prove that he can in fact be a significant contributor to a team that’s postseason-bound.

“For sure. You have to have a little chip, a little fire, at least in my eyes,” Monroe said. “I’ve never doubted myself. It’s about being between those lines and being the best player I can be. That’s what I’m focused on.”