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.

1Philadelphia 76ersMarkelle FultzRound 1
2Los Angeles LakersLonzo BallRound 1
3Boston CelticsJayson TatumRound 1
4Phoenix SunsJosh JacksonRound 1
5Sacramento KingsDe’Aaron FoxRound 1
6Orlando MagicJonathan IsaacRound 1
7Chicago BullsLauri MarkkanenRound 1
8New York KnicksFrank NtilikinaRound 1
9Dallas MavericksDennis Smith, Jr.Round 1
10Portland Trail BlazersZach CollinsRound 1
11Charlotte HornetsMalik MonkRound 1
12Detroit PistonsLuke KennardRound 1
13Utah JazzDonovan MitchellRound 1
14Miami HeatBam AdebayoRound 1
15Sacramento KingsJustin JacksonRound 1
16Minnesota TimberwolvesJustin PattonRound 1
17Milwaukee BucksD.J. WilsonRound 1
18Indiana PacersT.J. LeafRound 1
19Atlanta HawksJohn CollinsRound 1
20Sacramento KingsHarry GilesRound 1
21Oklahoma City ThunderTerrance FergusonRound 1
22Brooklyn NetsJarrett AllenRound 1
23Toronto RaptorsOG AnunobyRound 1
24Denver NuggetsTyler LydonRound 1
25Orlando MagicAndzejs PasecniksRound 1
26Portland Trail BlazersCaleb SwaniganRound 1
27Los Angeles LakersKyle KuzmaRound 1
28Utah JazzTony BradleyRound 1
29San Antonio SpursDerrick WhiteRound 1
30Los Angeles LakersJosh HartRound 1
31Charlotte HornetsFrank JacksonRound 2
32Phoenix SunsDavon ReedRound 2
33Orlando MagicWesley IwunduRound 2
34Sacramento KingsFrank MasonRound 2
35Memphis GrizzliesIvan RabbRound 2
36Philadelphia 76ersJonah BoldenRound 2
37Boston CelticsSemi OjeleyeRound 2
38Chicago BullsJordan BellRound 2
39Philadelphia 76ersJawun EvansRound 2
40New Orleans PelicansDwayne BaconRound 2
41Atlanta HawksTyler DorseyRound 2
42Los Angeles LakersThomas BryantRound 2
43Houston RocketsIsaiah HartensteinRound 2
44New York KnicksDamyean DotsonRound 2
45Houston RocketsDillon BrooksRound 2
46Philadelphia 76ersSterling BrownRound 2
47Indiana PacersIke AnigboguRound 2
48Milwaukee BucksSindarius ThornwellRound 2
49Denver NuggetsVlatko CancarRound 2
50Philadelphia 76ersMathias LessortRound 2
51Denver NuggetsMonte MorrisRound 2
52Washington WizardsEdmond SumnerRound 2
53Boston CelticsKadeem AllenRound 2
54Phoenix SunsAlec PetersRound 2
55Utah JazzNigel Williams-GossRound 2
56Boston CelticsJabari BirdRound 2
57Brooklyn NetsAleksandar VezenkovRound 2
58New York KnicksOgnjen JaramazRound 2
59San Antonio SpursJaron BlossomgameRound 2
60Atlanta HawksAlpha KabaRound 2

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