Fultz is top pick, Lakers get Ball » Manila Bulletin Sports




NEW YORK (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers got the player they wanted and Lonzo Ball the team he wanted.

From left, Markelle Fultz, De'Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

From left, Markelle Fultz, De’Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The 76ers selected guard Markelle Fultz on Thursday night with the No. 1 pick and the Lakers followed by taking Ball, the start of a record-setting run of one-and-dones in the NBA draft.

The point guards from the Pac-12 Conference began a run of seven straight freshmen. Nine of the first 10 selections played just one season of college ball.

A night that’s usually about the rookies quickly was jolted by another of the big moves involving veterans that have come in a flurry since the NBA Finals. The Chicago Bulls traded three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 overall draft pick, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

While that was being completed, the draft got off to a familiar start with the same top-four picks as last year: Philadelphia, the Lakers, Boston and Phoenix.

Fultz averaged 23.2 points last season, tops among freshmen, and added 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, the only Division I player to reach those stats. He walked across the stage Thursday night at Barclays Center wearing orange sneakers made of basketballs .

The 76ers had the No. 1 pick for the second straight year after trading with the Boston Celtics on Monday. Now they add Fultz to a promising young core that includes Rookie of the Year finalists Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, plus Ben Simmons, the top pick from last year who sat out all season with a foot injury.

Fultz, who played just 25 games in college, said it was always his dream to be the top pick and wasn’t bothered that Boston traded the chance to take him.

“In high school I told my trainer Keith I wanted to be the No. 1 player in the country and the No. 1 draft pick, so it was a goal I set out there, and that’s what I was striving for,” Fultz said.

Ball then got the wish he and his father, LaVar, wanted all along by staying in Los Angeles, where he starred last season at UCLA. LaVar Ball had said his son would only play for the Lakers, and it was clear that would happen when Lonzo got a phone call with the Lakers on the clock.

As Lonzo walked on stage to meet Commissioner Adam Silver and put on a purple Lakers hat, LaVar put on a gold and purple Big Baller Brand hat, the company he has started.

“Tonight was supposed to be a good night. Definitely was, and now I’m just focused on playing,” Lonzo Ball said. “Just want to get on the court.”

The Celtics then took Duke’s Jayson Tatum at No. 3 after moving down two spots in the trade with Philadelphia, drawing cheers from a large contingent of their fans at Barclays Center wearing green. The Suns took Josh Jackson of Kansas, the Sacramento Kings took Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox at No. 5 and the run of freshmen continued when the Orlando Magic selected Jonathan Isaac.

Silver has talked about changing the NBA’s limit, saying the current rule that American-born players must be 19 and a year out of high school, but teams seem just fine with the current system. The run of freshmen bettered the 2014 record of four straight first-year players to start the draft, finally ending when the New York Knicks took French guard Frank Ntilikina at No. 8.

The top 10 was rounded out with two more freshmen: Dennis Smith Jr. of North Carolina State to Dallas at No. 9, and Gonzaga’s Zach Collins at No. 10 with the Kings’ second pick.

Order Team Player Round
1 Philadelphia 76ers Markelle Fultz Round 1
2 Los Angeles Lakers Lonzo Ball Round 1
3 Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum Round 1
4 Phoenix Suns Josh Jackson Round 1
5 Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox Round 1
6 Orlando Magic Jonathan Isaac Round 1
7 Chicago Bulls Lauri Markkanen Round 1
8 New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina Round 1
9 Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith, Jr. Round 1
10 Portland Trail Blazers Zach Collins Round 1
11 Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk Round 1
12 Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard Round 1
13 Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell Round 1
14 Miami Heat Bam Adebayo Round 1
15 Sacramento Kings Justin Jackson Round 1
16 Minnesota Timberwolves Justin Patton Round 1
17 Milwaukee Bucks D.J. Wilson Round 1
18 Indiana Pacers T.J. Leaf Round 1
19 Atlanta Hawks John Collins Round 1
20 Sacramento Kings Harry Giles Round 1
21 Oklahoma City Thunder Terrance Ferguson Round 1
22 Brooklyn Nets Jarrett Allen Round 1
23 Toronto Raptors OG Anunoby Round 1
24 Denver Nuggets Tyler Lydon Round 1
25 Orlando Magic Andzejs Pasecniks Round 1
26 Portland Trail Blazers Caleb Swanigan Round 1
27 Los Angeles Lakers Kyle Kuzma Round 1
28 Utah Jazz Tony Bradley Round 1
29 San Antonio Spurs Derrick White Round 1
30 Los Angeles Lakers Josh Hart Round 1
31 Charlotte Hornets Frank Jackson Round 2
32 Phoenix Suns Davon Reed Round 2
33 Orlando Magic Wesley Iwundu Round 2
34 Sacramento Kings Frank Mason Round 2
35 Memphis Grizzlies Ivan Rabb Round 2
36 Philadelphia 76ers Jonah Bolden Round 2
37 Boston Celtics Semi Ojeleye Round 2
38 Chicago Bulls Jordan Bell Round 2
39 Philadelphia 76ers Jawun Evans Round 2
40 New Orleans Pelicans Dwayne Bacon Round 2
41 Atlanta Hawks Tyler Dorsey Round 2
42 Los Angeles Lakers Thomas Bryant Round 2
43 Houston Rockets Isaiah Hartenstein Round 2
44 New York Knicks Damyean Dotson Round 2
45 Houston Rockets Dillon Brooks Round 2
46 Philadelphia 76ers Sterling Brown Round 2
47 Indiana Pacers Ike Anigbogu Round 2
48 Milwaukee Bucks Sindarius Thornwell Round 2
49 Denver Nuggets Vlatko Cancar Round 2
50 Philadelphia 76ers Mathias Lessort Round 2
51 Denver Nuggets Monte Morris Round 2
52 Washington Wizards Edmond Sumner Round 2
53 Boston Celtics Kadeem Allen Round 2
54 Phoenix Suns Alec Peters Round 2
55 Utah Jazz Nigel Williams-Goss Round 2
56 Boston Celtics Jabari Bird Round 2
57 Brooklyn Nets Aleksandar Vezenkov Round 2
58 New York Knicks Ognjen Jaramaz Round 2
59 San Antonio Spurs Jaron Blossomgame Round 2
60 Atlanta Hawks Alpha Kaba Round 2

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