The trade falls through, and the Celtics pick No. 1
You never know when a seemingly done deal will fall apart, even if David Stern isn’t around to put the kibosh on a potential move. (Sorry, Lakers fans. I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.)
The Celtics could get cold feet, or Philly could balk at Boston’s asking price, and Ainge could be left on the clock come June 22. In that scenario, there are three potential subplots:
1. The draft goes as we expected prior to Friday, with the Celtics taking Fultz, the Lakers taking Ball, and the Sixers taking the next best player available;
2. Ainge decides either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum is his guy and picks one of the top forwards at No. 1 — to hell with the criticism;
3. Ainge tries to outsmart everyone by taking Ball with the first pick and looking to move him to the Lakers, only for Los Angeles to happily take Fultz No. 2 and leave the Celtics trying to figure out how Ball and Isaiah Thomas fit together.
Seriously, though, don’t discount the possibility Boston keeps this pick. Floating trade rumors only to back out at the last minute is a classic Celtics move.
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