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Celtics' president Danny Ainge suggests they would not have picked Markelle Fultz No. 1 in NBA Draft

Celtics' president Danny Ainge suggests they would not have picked Markelle Fultz No. 1 in NBA Draft

In trading the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia Sixers, the Boston Celtics essentially passed on the opportunity to select Markelle Fultz, a star point guard who has emerged as the best prospect in the draft by most accounts. The Celtics, however, may not be so convinced about the University of Washington guard.

In explaining the deal on Monday, Celtics president Danny Ainge had this to day:

Well, that is interesting. That means the Celtics are much higher on another prospect which could mean Josh Jackson of Kansas, De'Aaron Fox of Kentucky, Jayson Tatum of Duke or maybe even Lonzo Ball of UCLA, if they think he will fall past the Lakers at No. 2.

If Ainge is right and the Celtics do pick a better player than Fultz, then this trade will go down as a major success for them. They got this year's No. 3 pick from the Sixers and a future first round pick depending on protections.

Who do the Celtics like better than Fultz? We should find out Thursday, unless the Lakers pick him before they are on the clock, of course.

[RELATED: Projected No. 1 pick in NBA Draft Markelle Fultz signs shoe deal]

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With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

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USA Today Sports Images

With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

The Philadelphia 76ers will have two No. 1 overall picks make their NBA debuts on Wednesday night in Markelle Fultz (2017) and Ben Simmons (2016). They are in for a challenge with the Wizards, one of the best teams in basketball, and with guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall and Beal know that challenge well. They were both top draft picks in their own right, Wall the first pick in 2010 and Beal the third pick in 2012. They can recall in specifics their first games in the NBA and how humbling they were.

"My first game, I was going against Dwight Howard. It was fun," Wall said. "There was a lot of pressure. There were a lot of people talking."

[RELATED: 2017 NBA POWER RANKINGS]

It's often said that the point guard position is as deep as it's ever been nowadays. The last three MVP awards have gone to point guards, for instance.

There were some good ones back in 2010, too.

"I remember in a five-game span I played like [Rajon] Rondo, Derrick Rose here and then I went out west and played Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Russell [Westbrook]," Wall said. "I don't think it's gotten any harder than it was back then in 2010 with those five guys. You kind of understand what those guys are about when you get to see it firsthand and play against them."

Beal vividly remembers going up against the LeBron James-led Miami Heat as a 19-year-old. It wasn't easy.

"It was the Heat when they had [Dwyane Wade] and LeBron on the same team. That's when D-Wade was electrifying. He still had his quickness. He was strong as I don't know what and I was a baby at that time," he said.

"For me, it was like I was in awe because those are the guys I grew up watching and I was a fan of. Now I'm playing against them and I can't be a fan of them. It was amazing to play against them, but also an eye-opener like, I need to get better."

Now it's Fultz and Simmons' turn to see what matching up with NBA superstars is like and don't expect Wall or Beal to take it easy on them.

"I'm a competitive person, so I'm not going to back down from any challenge," Wall said.

[RELATED: WIZARDS AND SIXERS SET TO OPEN SEASON]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 45 - Season preview with over/unders and bold predictions

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NBC Sports Washington

Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 45 - Season preview with over/unders and bold predictions

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman personal injury lawyers, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller previewed the 2017-18 Wizards regular season with over/unders, biggest questions and bold predictions.

NBC Sports Philly Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato also joined the show to preview the first game between the Wizards and Sixers.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

[RELATED: 10 QUESTIONS WITH BRADLEY BEAL]