Reports: Sixers agree to trade with Celtics for No. 1 pick to draft Markelle Fultz

Reports: Sixers agree to trade with Celtics for No. 1 pick to draft Markelle Fultz

For the second straight year, it appears the Sixers will have the No. 1 overall pick.

The Sixers have agreed to a trade with the Boston Celtics for the top pick to draft Washington guard Markelle Fultz pending a Monday trade call, according to TNT's David Aldridge and The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Sixers needed to meet with Fultz first before agreeing to the trade, per Wojnarowski.

Boston will acquire the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft and one protected future first-round pick from the Sixers, according to The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach.

The Sixers will send the Lakers' 2018 first-round pick "if it falls between 2 and 5," but if the pick does not convey, the Celtics will receive the Kings' 2019 first-rounder, via Derek Bodner.

Fultz worked out for the Sixers on Saturday night at the team's practice facility in Camden, New Jersey. He arrived around 7:10 p.m. and completed his on-court workout around 8:26 p.m. He then met with head coach Brett Brown before speaking with the media.

“I don't really pay attention to everything that's going on,” Fultz said after his workout (see story). “I'm truly blessed to be in this position. Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to taking my talents to wherever I go.”

A one-and-done at Washington, Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds. He shot 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. He's a 6-foot-4 point guard with a 6-10 wingspan who can play on and off the ball.

The Sixers drafted Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick in last year's draft. Simmons missed last season because of a Jones' fracture in his right foot.

Fultz would add another dynamic ballhandler to the Sixers' backcourt, which already includes Simmons, who the team plans to use as the point guard. Fultz's versatility would allow him to work well alongside the 6-10 Simmons.

In April, before the draft lottery, Fultz told CSNPhilly's John Clark that he believed he was going to be the top pick and envisioned the Sixers as a possible landing spot.

"Oh, man, I can see it happening," Fultz said.

Then the Sixers landed the No. 3 pick in the lottery May 16.

Now barring any hiccups before Monday, the Sixers will have the No. 1 pick in Thursday's draft, clearing the way for Fultz to become a Sixer.

Banged-up Markelle Fultz is latest chapter in Sixers' painful rookie history

Banged-up Markelle Fultz is latest chapter in Sixers' painful rookie history

CAMDEN, N.J. — Brett Brown has been here before. The scenario isn’t as drastic in the past, but it’s familiar nonetheless: starting the season with an injured rookie for the fifth straight year.

Markelle Fultz will begin his first NBA season dealing with ongoing right shoulder and right knee soreness. The No. 1 pick is expected to play on opening night Wednesday, but will come off the bench after appearing in only two preseason games. 

Brown has learned to manage this type of situation after years of experience. Nerlens Noel missed Brown’s entire first season because of an ACL injury. Joel Embiid sat out the following two seasons with foot injuries. Ben Simmons suffered a season-ending foot fracture in last year’s training camp. 

The biggest lesson? 

“To go slow,” Brown said. “To not put them in a position where it’s going to produce some difficult times.” 

Fultz was likely to be a starter when the Sixers traded up to draft him first overall in June. The 19-year-old guard hasn’t had that much experience since then thanks to injuries in both summer league and preseason. 

The Sixers face John Wall, Kyrie Irving and Kyle Lowry in the first three games alone. That would be a tall defensive task if Fultz were to start. 

“This league is driven by men, this league is driven by veterans,” Brown said. “To just put him in that environment is just, I think, poor coaching and I’m not doing it.”

Just as Simmons took advice from Embiid during his injury, he is offering words of wisdom to Fultz.

“[You’ve] got to to take your time and you definitely have to take care of your body,” Simmons said. “Put your body first. There’s no need to rush.”

The Sixers have the backcourt depth to adjust without Fultz in the starting lineup. They have been turning to veteran Jerryd Bayless at shooting guard alongside Simmons, their intended backcourt pairing last season. 

In the meantime, Brown will balance Fultz’s health, his growth as an NBA player, and the team’s success. 

“The end game needs to be developing Markelle Fultz," Brown said. 

Joel Embiid disappointed Brett Brown has him on another minutes limit

Joel Embiid disappointed Brett Brown has him on another minutes limit

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid would like to play 48 minutes every game. The Sixers are looking at a maximum of 20 for opening night.

"I don't really know if there's a solid number," Brett Brown said Monday after practice. "I can tell if you were to choose a number, it's somewhere in the teens."

Embiid was hoping for more playing time on Wednesday against the Wizards, his first regular-season game since Jan. 27 (left knee surgery).

"I didn't know about that, but that's very disappointing," Embiid said Monday of the minutes restriction. "I feel great and hopefully that changes based on today's practice and tomorrow's practice."

The Sixers are being cautious with Embiid, who has both a lengthy history of injuries and a massive new contract extension. He clocked 15 minutes in both of his preseason games last week. Embiid felt he could have played twice as many minutes.

While the Sixers aren't ready to go as high as 30 minutes yet, they could exercise some wiggle room based on the flow of the game.

"There will be some minutes restrictions, but it's also a judgment of how is the game being played, not just looking at rote, rigid number," Brown said.

The NBA's new timeout rules could impact Embiid's playing time. The updated format changes include a decrease in the maximum number of timeouts allowed (18 to 14), 75-second team timeouts and fewer timeouts in the final minutes of the game. 

"One of the things that we're doing this year unlike previous years is there's a little bit of a looseness in relation to it doesn't have to be rigid if the game didn't dictate some track meet," Brown said. "This is like I'm coaching in the London Olympic Games again. The game moves. I can have guys at a scorers table for two minutes with no stoppage. So sometimes the torrid pace of a game doesn't favor Jo where you go flying up and down."

In addition to individual games, it remains to be seen if Embiid will be cleared this season for back-to-backs. The Sixers face their first set of consecutive games this Friday and Saturday against the Celtics at home and the Raptors in Toronto.